oa SA Pharmaceutical Journal - A review of weak opioids used in combination with other analgesics to treat low back pain : review

Volume 79, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2221-5875
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1017



Low back pain affects a large percentage of the population at some point in their lives. Most cases of acute low back pain settle within six weeks. The most commonly used medicines for acute low back pain are paracetamol, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), skeletal muscle relaxants, and opioid analgesics.

Chronic low back pain may also respond to these medicines, but combination therapy is usually recommended when a single agent, such as paracetamol, fails to control chronic low back pain. Combinations used in this situation should follow the principles of multimodal analgesia, with demonstrated efficacy and safety. A brief discussion follows on the efficacy and safety of weak opioids, when used in combination with paracetamol or aspirin, for low back pain.

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