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

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CRISTINA MOLINER / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS

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/mg (HYD+APAP). This class of medication is known to have the potential for misuse and addiction. 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. “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.

From Decisions in Dentistry. April 2022;8(4)6.

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