Advil/Tylenol Combo versus Opioids
(Winter 2017) Recent research indicates that over-the-counter (OTC) medications can be as effective for short-term pain management as opioids. The study centered on emergency room patients with pain from injuries such as broken bones, sprains, or dislocations in the arm, leg, shoulder, or hip.
Patients were placed in one of four categories. One group was given a pill containing both ibuprofen and acetaminophen — the same active ingredients in Advil and Tylenol. The other groups were administered a painkiller with a prescription opioid: Percocet (acetaminophen and oxycodone), Vicodin (acetaminophen and hydrocodone), or Tylenol No. 3 (acetaminophen and codeine).
Patients rated their discomfort when first admitted to the emergency room and then again two hours after taking their assigned painkiller. Individuals given the acetaminophen/ibuprofen combination experienced pain relief comparable to patients who took the opioid drug.
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