A new study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology has advocated the use of oral pain medication like oxycodone and acetaminophen for pain relief after a cesarean section. The researchers say that this appears to be a better option than patient-controlled morphine.
Using these drugs for pain relief in postcesarean pain "offers superior pain relief with fewer undesirable side effects such as nausea and drowsiness for patients and appears to be less expensive and more convenient for providers and hospitals," the researchers write. Currently morphine infusions are preferred, but these have a lost of side effects that can be safely avoided by using oral medications, said lead researcher Dr. Kathryn M. Davis, from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
The study tracked 93 patients and divided them into two groups to either receive oxycodone-acetaminophen or patient-controlled analgesia. In 24 hours patients were allowed to take a maximum of 12 tablets, while the other group was on morphine for 12 hours after which they received oral analgesia. Researchers found that patients on oral analgesia had less pain and less nausea than those on morphine. But there was no significant difference n the frequency of vomiting, intake of fluids or movement in both groups.