PAINKILLERS such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can do ‘more harm than good’ and should not be prescribed to treat chronic pain, health officials have said.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence claims that there is ‘little or no evidence’ the drugs, as well as aspirin and opioids, work.
But in draft guidance, published on Monday, Nice said there was evidence painkillers can cause harm, including addiction.
It says it would be ‘inappropriate’ for them to offered to patients anymore, despite the NHS saying paracetamol is safe when taken over many years.
Nice suggests people with chronic pain are instead offered exercise classes, therapy, acupuncture or even antidepressants
Chronic primary pain is a condition in itself which cannot be accounted for by another diagnosis or as a symptom of an underlying condition, Nice said.
Doctors often define chronic pain as any pain that lasts for three to six months or more.
The guidance did not give details about how paracetamol is harmful. However, it is known that overdosing on paracetamol can cause serious side effects.