Diazepam Not Beneficial for Acute Low Back Pain in ER

Diazepam Not Beneficial for Acute Low Back Pain in ER

TUESDAY, Feb. 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) — There is doubt as to whether diazepam provides benefit in the treatment of low back pain in the emergency department environment, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

For the study, Benjamin Friedman, M.D., of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues included 114 patients who presented to the emergency department with acute, non-traumatic, non-radicular low back pain. The patients received either naproxen and a placebo or naproxen and diazepam.

The researchers found that after one week, moderate or severe back pain was still reported by 32 percent of patients in the diazepam group and 22 percent of those in the placebo group. After three months, the rates were 12 and 9 percent, respectively.

“Our study contributes to the growing body of literature indicating that, in general, most medications do not improve acute lower back pain,” Friedman said in a journal news release. “One week after being discharged from the emergency department, lower back pain patients had improved equally, regardless of whether they were treated with naproxen and diazepam or naproxen and placebo. By three months after visiting the emergency department, most patients had recovered completely, regardless of what treatment they received.”

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