OTC Drugs Tylenol and Motrin Offer Same Effectiveness as Opioids, Claims Study

Published Date : Nov 08, 2017

Pain relievers, viz. Motrin and Tylenol, have been tested in a new study to be as effective as addictive opioids for reducing pain. The results could trigger changes to help new patients avoid opioid addiction and challenge customary emergency room (ER) practice for treating severe and short-term pain. However, the study could have limitations for the reasons that there had not been any evaluation of pain management post hospital discharge and only short-term pain relief in ERs had been looked into. Nevertheless, any dent in the problem of the U.S. opioid epidemic could prove to be significant.

Journal of the American Medical Association Published Results Tuesday

Northwestern University’s emergency medicine specialist, Dr. Demetrios Kyriacou has said that preventing addiction to opioids may have a larger effect on the opioid epidemic than offering sustained treatment to (already) addicted patients.

The study included 411 adult participants being treated for arm and leg sprains or fractures in Montefiore Medical Center’s emergency rooms at New York City. All of them were given one of the three opioids: codeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone, Motrin’s main ingredient ibuprofen, and Tylenol’s acetaminophen in standard doses. Pain levels experienced by the patients had been rated by them on a scale of 10 before taking the medicine and after two hours. There had been negligible differences between the pain scores of the different groups, which dropped from nine to close to five on an average.

Using acetaminophen and ibuprofen together may be especially potent, according to New York’s Albany Medical College emergency medicine professor, Dr. Andrew Chang, since they affect different pain receptors in the body.