Patients who receive a post-surgery prescription of ibuprofen with a rescue prescription of acetaminophen/oxycodone use less opioids than those only prescribed acetaminophen/oxycodone, according to a study presented at the 2019 American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Annual Meeting.
“The current opioid epidemic demands [that] physicians seek ways to decrease patients’ requirements of narcotic medications without sacrificing their postoperative comfort level,” said Kamali A. Thompson, MD, New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York, New York. “This study evaluated patients’ pain following arthroscopic shoulder instability repair and compared the use of narcotic medications between patients prescribed NSAIDs with rescue opioid prescription to those prescribed opioids alone.”
For the study, the researchers randomised 40 patients (mean age 35 years) who were scheduled to undergo arthroscopic shoulder instability repair and divided the patients into 2 groups: 1 group received 600 mg of ibuprofen and a 10-pill rescue prescription of acetaminophen/oxycodone 5/325mg (n = 20) while the other group was only given acetaminophen/oxycodone 5/325mg (n = 20).
The researchers found that the total amount of opioid consumption was significantly lower in the group that received both ibuprofen and acetaminophen/oxycodone compared with the group that received acetaminophen/oxycodone alone (P< .04).
“It is possible to alleviate postoperative pain with lower amounts of opioids than are currently being prescribed,” concluded Dr. Thompson. “The public health crisis of opioid abuse requires an immediate solution beginning with the reduction of postoperative narcotics distribution.”