Punching Out Post Dental Surgery Pain

Oral pain relieved more quickly by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Pain management after dental surgery can be a pain in the gas. Arguably, nothing is more irritating than a toothache gone wrong. Analgesic drug relief is key.

A recent study compares two IV nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), diclofenac and ketorolac. Along with a placebo, researchers found that patients on diclofenac received pain relief quicker and longer-lasting.

"Ask your oral surgeon about pain management options."

Ketorolac is currently approved for use in the United States and diclofenac was recently approved in the United Kingdom. A group of 353 patients were given one of the drugs or a placebo after the extraction of one or more molars, which typically involves moderate to severe pain. The procedure creates a challenge for doctors to control the pain and an opportunity to compare analgesics.

The criteria for which experts analyzed medication effectiveness included total pain relief over six hours, pain intensity and relief, and how long pain was relieved. Other indicators of efficacy included measures of pain intensity and relief, and how long it takes for the medication to take effect. Only minimal adverse effects were reported.

Ketorolac was given in a 30 milligram dose intravenously and diclofenac was given in five separate doses, ranging from 3.75 milligrams all the way up to 75 milligrams. One goal of the study is to identify the minimum dose of IV diclofenac that offers pain relief.

This research found that diclofenac offered pain relief faster than ketorolac. A significantly higher proportion of patients on diclofenac reported 30 percent or greater pain relief after 5 minutes.

This study is in the June 2011 issue of Anesthesia Progress.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
June 27, 2011
Last Updated:
July 18, 2011