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Non-Opioid Medication Effective in Treating Acute Pain: Study

Treating patients with non-opioid medications was seen as effective as prescribing opioids to emergency-room patients for pain associated with sprains, strains or fractures, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Dr. Andrew Chang of the Albany Medical College and researchers conducted a randomized clinical trial to assess the effects of an ibuprofen and acetaminophen (paracetamol) mix compared to a small dose of opioids and acetaminophen on alleviating patient pain.

In an assessment of 462 patients who came to two emergency departments with moderate to severe-acute pain, the researchers found that in both instances — non-opioid vs opioid — patients reported pain alleviation within two hours.

“The findings suggest that ibuprofen-acetaminophen is a reasonable alternative to opioid management of acute extremity pain due to sprain, strain, or fracture, but further research to assess longer-term effect, adverse events and dosing is warranted,” the authors wrote.

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