Placebo and valium are equally effective for acute lower back pain in the ER – EurekAlert (press release)

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Emergency patients treated with naproxen and placebo had outcomes as good as or better than patients treated with naproxen and diazepam (trade name Valium) for acute lower back pain, according to the results of a double-blind, randomized clinical trial published last week in Annals of Emergency Medicine (“Diazepam Is No Better Than Placebo When Added to Naproxen for Acute Low Back Pain”).

Key Takeaways:

  • Emergency patients treated with naproxen and placebo had outcomes as good as or better than patients treated with naproxen and diazepam (trade name Valium) for acute lower back pain
  • After one week, 31.5 percent of the diazepam patients reported moderate or severe lower back pain, while 21.8 percent of the placebo patients did.
  • “Millions of patients come to the ER every year seeking relief for back pain, which can be debilitating,” said Dr. Friedman. “Unfortunately, we have yet to come up with the silver bullet in pill form that helps them. If anything, we may be overmedicating these patients.”

“Millions of patients come to the ER every year seeking relief for back pain, which can be debilitating,” said Dr. Friedman. “Unfortunately, we have yet to come up with the silver bullet in pill form that helps them. If anything, we may be overmedicating these patients.”

https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-02/acoe-pav021617.php

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