Relieve Pain from Osteoarthritis with Acetaminophen | Spine Health Acetaminophen is one of many back pain medications that may be used for pain management. Solutions for pain relief provided by KBNI.


For Arthritis And Osteoarthritis Pain Relief And Management

Acetaminophens are used to relieve mild to moderate pain such as headaches, muscles aches, back aches, and to reduce fever. This drug may also be prescribed to relieve the pain caused by Arthritis, Osteoarthritis or may be used as a more general lower back pain medication. Acetaminophens belong to a class of medications called non-opioid analgesics which combine a pain reliever and a fever reducer to change the way the body senses pain and cools the body and to provide pain relief from various ailments.

Acetaminophens are available in tablet, capsule and liquid form to be taken orally (by mouth), typically every four to six hours as needed, depending on the brand of drug. Follow directions on the label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take only as directed.

REMINDER: You should always talk to your doctor before beginning a new medication regimen. These suggestions do not to substitute for medical advice. Please consult your physician.

Types of Acetaminophens

Acetaminophen/ Aspirin/ Caffeine

Brand Names: Excedrin Extra Strength, Excedrin Migraine

Relieves: Treatment of mild to moderate pain, arthritis, migraine headache

Available Over-the-Counter: Yes

Mechanism of action: Interferes with prostaglandins (substances within the body which cause inflammation and sensitize nerves to pain).

Side Effects

  • Common: indigestion, nausea, vomiting
  • Less common: difficulty sleeping, nervousness, irritability
  • Serious: difficulty swallowing, lightheadedness, fainting, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, acute decrease in urine output

Note: This medication is only intended for short term use. If pain persists or you begin to experience side effects, consult your doctor.

Acetaminophen with Codeine Phosphate

Brand Names: Tylenol, Phenaphen, Datril Extra Strength, Anacin (Asprin Free), Anacin – 3, Genebs

Relieves: Mild to moderate pain

Available Over-the-Counter: Yes

Mechanism of action: The Acetaminophen reduces fever and interferes with the action of prostaglandins which cause inflammation. Codeine acts on areas in the spinal cord and brain to reduce pain.

Side Effects:

  • Common: dizziness, light headedness, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, constipation, fatigue
  • Less Common: gastric pain, allergic reaction, blurred vision, drymouth, headache, nervousness, insomnia loss of appetite

Note: Due to potential physical dependence, decrease dose gradually under medical supervision. If pain increases, do not take more often, for an extended period of time or in larger doses due to the habit-forming nature of codeine. Consult with your physician.

Hydrocodone Biartrate / Acetaminophen

Brand Names: Vicodin, Lorcet, Lortab

Relieves: Moderate to severe pain, short term relief of acute pain

Available Over-the-Counter: No

Mechanism of action: Hydrocodone blocks pain at the spinal cord and brain. Acetaminophen interferes with prostaglandins which cause inflammation.

Side effects

  • Common: headache, dizziness, light headedness, nausea, drowsiness, constipation
  • Less common: abdominal pain, false sense of well being, depression, loss of appetitite, headache, nervousness, insomnia

Note: Due to potential physical dependence, if pain increases or the medication is not working, do not take more often, for an extended period of time or in larger doses. Please consult with your physician immediately.


For more information on Back Pain Medications for Pain Management or for a consultation at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute please call:

281.44.NEURO (281.446.3876)