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Other Options Are More Effective Than Opioids In Treating Dental Pain

When addressing acute dental pain, opioids are not the most effective choice.


When addressing acute dental pain, opioids are not the most effective choice. A new study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association found that a combination of ibuprofen or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and acetaminophen relieves acute dental pain better than opioid medications. Researchers at Case Western Reserve University’s School of Dental Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, reviewed the results of 460 studies conducted on the treatment of acute dental pain. They concluded that a combination of 400 mg of ibuprofen and 1,000 mg of acetaminophen eased pain more effectively and with fewer side effects than narcotic medications. Results also demonstrated that the use of opioid-containing medications led to the highest prevalence of negative side effects, such as drowsiness, respiratory depression, nausea/vomiting, and constipation. The study, “Benefits and Harms Associated With Analgesic Medications Used in the Management of Acute Dental Pain” appeared in the journal’s April issue.

From Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. May 2018;16(5):12.

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