Pharmacy Corner
Low Back Pain Frequently asked questions about back pain medications

Over-the-counter medications are not helping with my pain. Can my doctor prescribe me stronger pain killers?

It may seem strange but non-prescription medications work as well as most pain medications that your doctor may prescribe for low-back pain.8 If over-the-counter medications are not providing enough relief, your doctor may recommend a different choice to help with the pain.

My back pain has gotten worse since I got pregnant. Which medications are safe to use?

For most women, acetaminophen is safe to use during pregnancy. Avoid using other medications during pregnancy. For breastfeeding women, Tylenol and anti-inflammatory drugs are considered safe while other medications should be avoided.11,12 You should ask your doctor, pharmacist, or midwife to recommend an appropriate option to treat your pain.

Are some medications better than others for long-term back pain?

Most medications for low back pain are used as short-term symptom relief. There is not enough medical proof that they work for long-term back pain.8 You should speak with your doctor about trying a different medication if your current pain medication is not helping enough. Aside from medications, people with long-term back pain may benefit from active exercises, physical conditioning, and yoga.9,10


Is one anti-inflammatory drug better than another?

No, they all work equally as well for low back pain. That being said, you may find one drug that works better for you than another.