A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. examines whether over-the-counter drugs are as effective as opioids in relieving pain.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, researchers found that a combination of two non-addictive drugs had the same or better pain relief results as a trio of opioids. Medications were administered in a Bronx emergency department to 416 patients with acute pain. Patients had injuries including bone fractures, sprained ankles and a dislocated shoulder. They were divided into four groups, each with a different medication or set of medications: Percocet, Vicodin or Tylenol No. 3. which have combinations of opioids and acetaminophen, and one group with an ibuprofen/acetaminophen combination.
With the ongoing conversation about opioid addiction, how could this study shed light on how pain relievers are prescribed? Larry speaks to the author of the study today to find out more about its results.
Dr. Andrew K. Chang, M.D., M.S., a professor of Emergency Medicine and Vice Chair of Research and Academic Affairs at Albany Medical College; he is lead author on the recent study, “Effect of a Single Dose of Oral Opioid and Nonopioid Analgesics on Acute Extremity Pain in the Emergency Department A Randomized Clinical Trial”
Dr. Howard Fields, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurology and physiology at UC San Francisco; his research focus includes pain management and opioid pharmacology