Basic Painkillers Are Just As Effective as Opioids, Study FindsLast Updated: Friday, December 1, 2017
(TIME, November 7) Non-opioid painkillers work just as well as opioid painkillers for certain types of pain, according to a new study. This news confirms the fact that – in the midst of the nationwide opioid epidemic – they are likely being overprescribed.
Researchers studied more than 400 emergency room patients in the Bronx, New York who came in for leg strains, sprains or fractures. They were randomly given either non opioid painkillers (like ibuprofen and Tylenol) or opioid painkillers and asked after two hours to rate their pain. Scientists found that there wasn’t much of a difference in the pain ratings between the two groups.
“The results did surprise me,” study author Dr. Andrew Chang, professor of emergency medicine at Albany Medical Center said. “Most physicians reflexively give opioids to patients with fractures or broken bones. This study lends evidence that opioids aren’t always necessary even in the presence of fractures.” Read more.