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Study Evaluates Naproxen Sodium Vs Opioid to Treat Dental Pain


New clinical research has shown that a single 440-mg dose of over-the-counter naproxen sodium (NapS) is as effective, lasts longer, and is better tolerated than a single dose of a commonly prescribed opioid for managing acute post-surgical dental pain.

The single-dose study, “Analgesic Efficacy of Naproxen Sodium Vs Hydro­codone/Acetaminophen in Acute Post-Surgical Dental Pain: a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial,” published online in Postgraduate Medicine, found that NapS was at least as effective at hours 0 to 4 and better tolerated than the opioid combination hydrocodone plus acetaminophen 10/mg (HYD+APAP). This class of medication is known to have the potential for misuse and addiction. Additionally, the results showed NapS to have a lower incidence of adverse events than HYD+APAP (14.4% vs 39.1%).

It is hoped these findings will lead oral health professionals to consider alternative strategies, rather than relying on opioids as a first-line defense for pain management.

From Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. April 2022; 20(4)13.

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