Recently memories about whether or not to use pain medications came flooding back after reading a New York Times article Alternatives to Opioids for Pain Relief. The article described research that compares the effectiveness of opioid and non-opioid medicines. It made me remember just how easily power pain medications have been prescribed.
Physicians observed and analyzed the extent of pain relief for 411 emergency department patients, men and women who were given different medications to decrease their extreme pain. The individuals in the study rated their pain and then were randomly assigned different medications, including acetaminophen, combined with either ibuprofen or opioids. Two hours later, when the patients in the study were again asked to rate their pain, there was no statistical difference in pain reduction between the different medications. Continue reading