Does paracetamol work for pain?
Paracetamol is commonly used as a painkiller and to reduce high temperatures. The way paracetamol works is not fully understood but it probably reduces the production of prostaglandins in the spinal cord and brain. Prostaglandins are produced in response to injury and some diseases and increase the sensitivity of nerve endings. If paracetamol reduces the levels of prostaglandins it essentially raises your pain threshold so you are less sensitive to pain. It doesn’t alter the cause of the pain, simply the response.
Paracetamol does not reduce inflammation.
It takes up to an hour to be effective.
The evidence for the effectiveness of paracetamol for reducing pain is very poor for back pain, nerve pain, migraine, post-operative pain and osteoarthritis.
Contrary to long-held beliefs, paracetamol can have side-effects. It is associated with increased mortality, heart problems, ulcers and effects on the kidneys. Side-effects are rare and the effects of long-term use are still being researched.
This article is purely to provide some information about paracetamol and does not constitute advice regarding taking paracetamol.