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Nonopioid Medications for Management of Acute Low Back Pain: What Works Best?


Which of the 3 nonopioid analgesics most commonly used to treat acute LBP is/are most effective? A new systematic literature review offers 1 view of the data.

Acute low back pain (LBP) is among the most common health complaints in the US. It is estimated that up to 25% of the population has experienced at least 1 episode during the previous 3 months. Opioids have historically been prescribed to treat acute LBP despite a lack of evidence to support the practice; in fact, they are prescribed to almost 14% of patients with a LBP complaint.

However, prevailing concerns regarding overprescribing, supplying the illicit market, and potential for widespread abuse have led to earnest calls to reduce opioid prescribing for acute pain conditions and in some states to limitations on how long they can be prescribed.

A recent systematic review examined which common nonopioid medications have been found to be most efficacious for the management of acute LBP. The slides below offer an at-a-glance review of the study and findings.

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