Chicago — Emergency rooms are the place many sufferers are first launched to highly effective opioid painkillers, however what if docs supplied over-the-counter drugs as a substitute? A brand new research examined that method on sufferers with damaged bones and sprains and located ache relievers bought as Tylenol and Motrin labored in addition to opioids at decreasing extreme ache.
The outcomes problem frequent ER apply for treating short-term, extreme ache and will immediate adjustments that might assist forestall new sufferers from turning into addicted.
The research has limitations: It solely checked out short-term ache reduction within the emergency room and researchers didn’t consider how sufferers managed their ache after leaving the hospital.
However given the scope of the U.S. opioid epidemic — greater than 2 million People are hooked on opioid painkillers or heroin — specialists say any dent in the issue could possibly be significant.
Outcomes have been revealed Tuesday within the Journal of the American Medical Affiliation.
Lengthy-term opioid use usually begins with a prescription painkiller for short-term ache, and use of those medicine within the ER has risen lately. Earlier research have proven opioids have been prescribed in practically one-third of ER visits and about 1 out of 5 ER sufferers are despatched residence with opioid prescriptions.
“Stopping new sufferers from turning into hooked on opioids could have a better impact on the opioid epidemic than offering sustained therapy to sufferers already addicted,” Dr. Demetrios Kyriacou, an emergency medication specialist at Northwestern College, wrote in an accompanying editorial.
The research concerned 411 adults handled in two emergency rooms at Montefiore Medical Heart in New York Metropolis. Their accidents included leg and arm fractures or sprains. All got acetaminophen, the primary ingredient in Tylenol, plus both ibuprofen, the primary ingredient in Motrin, or certainly one of three opioids: oxycodone, hydrocodone or codeine. They got normal doses and weren’t informed which drug combo they acquired.
Sufferers rated their ache ranges earlier than taking the medication and two hours later. On common, ache scores dropped from virtually 9 on a 10-point scale to about 5, with negligible variations between the teams.
Ibuprofen and acetaminophen have an effect on completely different ache receptors within the physique so utilizing the 2 medicine collectively could also be particularly potent, stated Dr. Andrew Chang, an emergency medication professor at Albany Medical School in upstate New York, who led the research.
He famous tablet combining ibuprofen and acetaminophen is accessible in different nations; his findings echo analysis from Canada and Australia testing that tablet in opposition to opioids for ache reduction.
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