OTC painkillers as effective as opioids in the ED

Opioid alternative focus of Albany Med doctor's study

Opioid alternative focus of Albany Med doctor's study

"Most physicians reflexively give opioids to patients with fractures or broken bones".

New research found no statistically significant or clinically important differences in pain reduction at 2 hours among single-dose treatment ibuprofen and acetaminophen or with three opioid and acetaminophen combination analgesics for patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) with acute extremity pain.

The study has limitations: It only looked at short-term pain relief in the emergency room and researchers didn't evaluate how patients managed their pain after leaving the hospital.

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He cautioned in an interview Tuesday that more study is needed to determine longer-term outcomes of the treatments, but he said the study could lead to fewer doctors prescribing opioids and patients understanding they don't need them.

With opioids being prescribed in nearly one-third of all ER visits even though more than 2 million Americans are already addicted to opioids or heroin, this study could help curb a national epidemic. As reported in JAMA, the 400-patient clinical study included patients who had varying degrees of pain associated with a different types of injuries and conditions, including fractures, strains, and sprains.

They were given standard measurements and were not told which medicate combo they got.

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"Preventing new patients from becoming addicted to opioids may have a greater effect on the opioid epidemic than providing sustained treatment to patients already addicted", according to Dr. Demetrios Kyriacou, an emergency medicine specialist at Northwestern University.

Ibuprofen and acetaminophen influence diverse torment receptors in the body so utilizing the two medications together might be particularly intense, said Dr. Andrew Chang, a crisis drug educator at Albany Medical College in upstate NY, who drove the investigation.

Patients rated their pain levels before taking the medicine and two hours later. Therefore, combining ibuprofen and acetaminophen together can act as a powerful painkiller.

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