Acetaminophen — commonly known as Tylenol in the United States — isn’t an effective choice for relieving osteoarthritis pain in the hip or knee, or for improving joint function, a new study finds.
Although the drug rated slightly better than placebo in studies, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or diclofenac are better choices for short-term pain relief, the researchers said.
“Regardless of dose, the prescription drug diclofenac is the most effective drug among painkillers in terms of improving pain and function in osteoarthritis,” said lead researcher Dr. Sven Trelle. He’s co-director of clinical trials at the University of Bern in Switzerland. However, even diclofenac comes with side effects.