Pain relievers labored in addition to opioids in ER sufferers


CHICAGO — Emergency rooms are the place many sufferers are first launched to highly effective opioid painkillers, however what if docs provided 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 lowering extreme ache.

The outcomes problem widespread ER follow for treating short-term, extreme ache and will immediate adjustments that may badist stop 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.

But given the scope of the U.S. opioid epidemic — greater than 2 million Americans are hooked on opioid painkillers or heroin — specialists say any dent in the issue could possibly be significant.

Results had been printed Tuesday within the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Long-term opioid use typically begins with a prescription painkiller for short-term ache, and use of those medicine within the ER has risen lately. Previous research have proven opioids had been prescribed in almost one-third of ER visits and about 1 out of 5 ER sufferers are despatched residence with opioid prescriptions.

“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,” Dr. Demetrios Kyriacou, an emergency medication specialist at Northwestern University, wrote in an accompanying editorial.

The research concerned 411 adults handled in two emergency rooms at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. 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 one in every of three opioids: oxycodone, hydrocodone or codeine. They got normal doses and weren’t instructed which drug combo they obtained.

Patients rated their ache ranges earlier than taking the medication and two hours later. On common, ache scores dropped from nearly 9 on a 10-point scale to about 5, with negligible variations between the teams.

Ibuprofen and acetaminophen have an effect on totally 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 College in upstate New York, who led the research.

He famous capsule combining ibuprofen and acetaminophen is on the market in different nations; his findings echo badysis from Canada and Australia testing that capsule in opposition to opioids for ache reduction.


Follow AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner on Twitter at @LindseyTanner. Her work might be discovered right here.

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