In Medicine, paracetamol is used to soothe every kind of pain, from simple molar pain to pain produced by bone fractures.
This medicine is one of the most used nowadays. However, research carried out at the Department of Nursing of the University of Granada showed that taking paracetamol slows down bone growth, as has been proved by ‘in vitro’ studies.
Author of this work is Olga García Martínez, and her analysis takes as a starting point several clinical processes in which accelerating bone growth is required. “Certain anti-inflammatories such as paracetamol – warns the researcher – should be cautiously taken, specially in situations which require a rapid bone tissue regeneration, such as after placement of a prosthesis or dental implant. Other anti-inflammatories which have no effects on bone growth should be used instead. ”Results of her work can not be confirmed in humans but ‘in vitro’ research shows without a question that paracetamol slows down bone regeneration.
Research of García Martínez was carried out on osteoblasts (cells involved in bone regenerating processes), obtained via bone samples. Apart from the effects of paracetamol on bone cells in culture, the author also studied the effect of plasma rich in growth factors (obtained from patients' own blood and after a spinning process). Application of this plasma gel on bones accelerates their growth, without affecting other cell parameters such as the cell cycle or the antigenic profile.
It is therefore an easy technique which involves few risks for the patient, who will recover from bone defects more quickly.
Even though her work has been carried out on osteoblasts, García Martínez states that it could also be used on other kinds of cells such as fibroblasts, and can therefore be used not only on bones but also on soft tissue, which would help to heal wounds and ulcers.