A peer-reviewed journal that offers evidence-based clinical information and continuing education for dentists.

Clinical Study Evaluates Naproxen Sodium Versus an Opioid Combination in Acute Postsurgical Dental Pain


New clinical research has shown that a single 440-mg dose of over-the-counter naproxen sodium (NapS) is as effective, lasts longer, and is better tolerated than a single dose of a commonly prescribed opioid for managing acute postsurgical dental pain.

The single-dose study, “Analgesic Efficacy of Naproxen Sodium Versus Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen in Acute Postsurgical Dental Pain: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial,” published online in Postgraduate Medicine, found that NapS was at least as effective at hours 0 to 4 and better tolerated than the opioid combination hydrocodone plus acetaminophen 10/650 mg (HYD+APAP). This class of medication is known to have the potential for misuse and addiction.1 Additionally, the results showed NapS to have a lower incidence of adverse events than HYD+APAP (14.4% versus 39.1%).

“This study comes at a key time, as opioid addiction and overdose deaths have been declared a public health emergency in the United States,” notes M. Ted Wong, DDS, MHA, an oral healthcare and dental/medical integration consultant.2 “The results show that NapS may be an effective, non-addictive treatment option for those undergoing dental procedures.” It is hoped these findings will lead oral health professionals to consider alternative strategies, rather than relying on opioids as a first-line defense for pain management.


  1. American Dental Association. ADA Dental Drug Handbook: A Quick Reference. Chicago, Ill: American Dental Association; 2019. 
  2. Kuehn B. Opioid emergency declared. JAMA. 2017;318:2418.
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy