Medications for Back Pain

Just about everybody's going to have back pain. An estimated 80 percent of people will seek medical attention for back pain at any stage in their life. Much of the way, a few over-the-counter pain relievers do the trick. But are drugs the only way to fight daily flare-ups?

If you ever had low back pain, you could have searched the nearest pharmacy shelves or finished a prescription from your doctor. But not all drugs are equivalent. Here are the most popular ones with low back pain.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

The doctor could recommend this as first-line therapy. It works by halting the progression of pain. But it does not reduce inflammation in the body. Acetaminophen appears to be softer in the stomach than most medications.

But while it may be effective in alleviating toothaches, headaches, and discomfort following surgery, there is no evidence that it performs almost as well for back pain. However, each scenario is unique. Just because it hasn't been proven to be the most effective remedy in clinical trials, it doesn't mean it won't benefit you.

Risks: It will affect the liver if taken at high doses. That's why physicians recommend taking about 3,000 milligrams (mg) a day, even though the actual daily dosage (according to the FDA) is 4,000 mg.

Muscle Relaxants

In some instances, your doctor may prescribe these for your low back pain. Four of the most widely used muscle relaxants are Soma 350mg (Carisoprodol), Metaxalone (Skelaxin), and Tizanidine (Zanaflex). These medications function by helping to relieve muscle spasms.

Risks: Muscle relaxants are at high risk of side effects, such as tiredness and dizziness.


Physicians often recommend these for low back pain. However, recent literature indicates that they typically only offer short-term relief. And they bear a lot of risks, including hormonal shifts and dependence. For this cause, physicians typically should not recommend them for chronic or long-term discomfort.

If you do, they're more apt to prescribe other treatments, such as exercise or dietary improvements. And they will track you constantly to make sure that they relieve your discomfort and enhance your function without causing any harm.

Risks: Apart from the potential side effects described above, opioids can also induce nausea and constipation in the short term. With time, it leads to stress and sexual dysfunction.


This could be a choice if the pain is neuropathic, meaning you're going to shoot your knee. So you're still not going to see results right away. Most patients get mild relaxation after taking these drugs for a few weeks.

Doctors administer some non-labeled antidepressants better to relieve discomfort, particularly chronic low back pain, even though they are not depressed.

Any study has shown that duloxetine (Cymbalta), which is used to relieve stress and anxiety, is one of the most effective antidepressants to treat pain.

Antidepressants are not toxic and are well tolerated by many. Talk to your expert about whether this could be an alternative.