Medicine

Research shows patients experience pain relief without opioids

Research shows patients experience pain relief without opioids

Experts say the findings suggest there are effective ways to treat pain that does not involve opioids. The research, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen and acetaminophen relieved symptoms of pain as effectively as narcotics like oxycodone.

Time reported that the study observed more than 400 patients from two emergency rooms for fractures and sprains.

The findings have implications for countering the growing problem of opioid dependence and abuse, said principal investigator Andrew Chang, MD, of Albany Medical College in NY.

The patients were divided into four groups, three of which were given acetaminophen combined with opioids including oxycodone, hydrocodone and codeine, while one group was given a combined dose of ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Therefore, combining ibuprofen and acetaminophen together can act as a powerful painkiller.

After two hours, doctors asked the patients to rate their pain on a scale from zero to 10.

More news: Couple charged with murder after child starved to death as punishment

"Part of the overall strategy will also require a reduction in number of prescribed opioids through the development of non-opioid treatment approaches for both acute and chronic pain management", he wrote.

More studies are planned.

"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.

Dr. Chang said the study prompted him to have conversations with his fracture patients about non-opioid options.


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