Patients receiving a post-operative prescription of ibuprofen with a rescue prescription of Percocet used less opioids than a group of similar patients who were prescribed just Percocet. The research was presented by a group from the New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York City at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting.
“The current opioid epidemic demands physicians seek ways to decrease patients’ requirements of narcotic medications without sacrificing their post-operative comfort level,” said lead researcher Kamali A. Thompson. “This study evaluated patients’ pain following arthroscopic shoulder instability repair and compared the use of narcotic medications between patients prescribed NSAIDs [nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs] with rescue opioid prescription to those prescribed opioids alone.”
The researchers randomized 40 patients who were to undergo an arthroscopic shoulder instability repair and divided the patients into two groups: One group received 600 milligrams of ibuprofen and a 10-pill rescue prescription of Percocet 5/325mg while the other group was only given Percocet 5/325mg.
The researchers found that the total amount of opioid consumption was significantly lower in the group that received both ibuprofen and Percocet compared to the group that received just Percocet.
“It is possible to alleviate post-operative pain with lower amounts of opioids than are currently being prescribed,” said Thompson. “The public health crisis of opioid abuse requires an immediate solution beginning with the reduction of post-operative narcotics distribution.”
This article was adapted from information provided by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.