Maybe not, according to a study published in Lancet 2014, with lead author Dr C. M. Williams. This was a Class I, high-quality, double-blind randomized controlled trial for use of Tylenol in acute low back pain. Up 2 Extra Strength pills 4 times a day, for a total of 4000 mg a day, were allowed. Whether used on a daily or on an as-needed basis, recovery time was the same in treated versus untreated placebo patients.

The results of this study are similar to those in osteoarthritisdysmenorrhea, or rheumatoid arthritis. Given risk of liver damage, there is increasing evidence that it is not a first-line treatment for these disorders.

Dr. Jack Florin, MD

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