I hear from many people that their Doctor has prescribed Tylenol (also called acetaminophen or paracetamol) for their osteoarthritis pain. Most people report it may take the edge off a bit but is of little help really.
Tylenol is prescribed as it is considered a safe medication. It is certainly safer than an NSAID such as ibuprofen, naproxen or diclofenac. It is also not addictive like the opioid based drugs but there are still an alarming number of people who are admitted to hospital with overdoses. This is because it is often found in other remedies such as allergy or cold medications.
Also a study published in the British Medical Journal found tylenol as a pain reliever for osteoarthritis pain it was of ‘minimal short term benefit’!
They also found that patients using acetaminophen were four times more likely than those taking a placebo to have abnormal results in liver-function tests and that is a worrying statistic.
The Arthritis Foundation says as alcohol can increase the toxic effects of acetaminophen in the liver, men should drink no more than two alcoholic drinks a day and women should have only one drink a day, if not avoiding alcohol entirely. So that a bit of a beggar too!
What are the Alternatives for Osteoarthritis Pain?
Really I think it is about time Doctors it is time Doctors stopped trying to mask the pain with an ineffective painkiller and tried to do something positive to improve the condition. Time and time again exercises have been shown to relieve osteoarthritis pain but they still seem to be reluctant to prescribe them. Maybe it’s because exercises are a bit painful when you first start but you quickly see the benefits and are able to do more with less pain.
So if your Doctor won’t pay for you to get an exercise programme to relieve your osteoarthritis pain you could always invest $19.99 and get yourself one of mine. The programs are tailor made for people with osteoarthritis and there are questionnaires to gauge how bad your OA is and how it is affecting you. That way you know you are doing the right number of each exercise so you are not going to irritate your joint more but are still going to see the benefits.
Let’s face it, if all you have is some Tylenol to take the edge off your osteoarthritis pain what have you got to lose?