Opioid vs. non-opioid pain relief in the emergency room

Posted at 2:55 PM, Nov 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-08 17:23:43-05

A new study compared opioids to non-opioid use in the ER to see which provided relief more effectively.

Over 400 adults with broken bones or sprains to their leg or arm were split into two groups.  One group was given a combination of opioid and acetaminophen while the other group was given a mix of ibuprofen and acetaminophen.  

After two hours, both groups of patients experienced roughly the same amount of pain relief. 

This study only looked at broken bones and cracks but I recommend before taking medications for any pain condition that you have a serious discussion with your doctor about your options.

The opioid epidemic is killing people.  

Since the year 2000, over 500,000 people have died because of drug overdoses.  Opioids are highly addictive and just one prescription could set you up for a lifetime struggle with addiction. But we need to be realistic because in some cases you may need to take them.  So to lower your risk of addiction here are my prescriptions:
Partha’s RX:
1. Always follow your doctor’s orders.  Don’t exceed or change the dosage without talking to your doctor first.    

2. Be practical about your pain level.  Don’t expect to be 100% pain-free.

3. Don’t keep leftover pills for future use and never borrow or share opioids with anyone.   Only a doctor should be prescribing these powerful medications.

4. If you’ve had issues with drugs or alcohol, you should consider avoiding painkillers.  Talk to your doctor about other options you can try first. 

Opioids are often used for short-term pain relief following surgery or an injury.  

They are not the right choice for nerve pain, fibromyalgia, migraines, chronic back pain or arthritis because they don’t relieve pain any better than over the counter medications.