Widely available ibuprofen might be a better option for minor postoperative pain relief when compared to oral morphine as it may have fewer side effects, found a new clinical study published in Canadian Medical Association Journal.
"This result suggests that adequate pain management should be an important goal of care, even after minor outpatient surgery, and that more effective pharmacological and non-pharmacological strategies should be explored," writes Dr.Naveen Poonai, Clinician Scientist, Lawson Health Research Institute, and Associate Professor, Emergency Medicine, Department of Paediatrics, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, with coauthors.
‘Pain scores for children in both the oral morphine and ibuprofen were similar, but the children receiving oral morphine reported more adverse effects, such as nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness, and constipation.’
The study included 154 children aged 5 to 17 years who underwent minor orthopedic surgery, such as keyhole surgery on joints, ligament and tendon repair, suture or hardware removal at London Health Sciences Center in London, Ontario.
In the first 24 hours, more than 80% of the children in the study needed pain relief at home. Pain scores for children in both the oral morphine and ibuprofen groups were similar, but the children receiving oral morphine reported more adverse effects, such as nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness, and constipation.
"Morphine did not provide superior analgesia but was associated with significantly more adverse effects, making ibuprofen a better analgesic option
," write the authors.
They note that as neither treatment completely relieved pain, more research is needed into effective pain relief, especially for more severe pain.
Oral morphine use at home has not been previously studied in children who have had minor surgery nor has it been compared with ibuprofen.