Oct 21, 2018 | Updated: 04:34 PM EDT

Researchers say Ibuprofen is better for children's fracture

Oct 27, 2014 06:23 PM EDT

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A study recently published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal says that Ibuprofen is a more ideal pain reliever for uncomplicated fractures or broken bones in children, compared to morphine.

It said that while both are effective for pain control, Ibuprofen had fewer adverse effects. Oral morphine carries more risk for negative side effects, Canadian researchers found.

According to Medscape, the new findings confirm that Ibuprofen is more effective than either acetaminophen or codeine, and equivalent to acetaminophen-codeine combinations and to oxycodone. Ibuprofen was also associated with less impairment than acetaminophen plus codeine, and was also more tolerable.

According to the researchers, broken bones account for up to one-quarter of all injuries involving children, with the first two days after the injury being the most painful. "Children have limited choices for pain relief, however, due to safety concerns about their use of codeine," the researchers explained.

"Evidence suggests that orally administered morphine and other painkillers are increasingly being prescribed," the researchers wrote. "However, evidence for the oral administration of morphine in acute pain management is limited. Thus, additional studies are needed to address this gap in knowledge and provide a scientific basis for outpatient analgesic choices in children."

The study involved 134 children, aged 5 to 17, who suffered broken bones but did not require surgery. According to reports, the children were randomly selected to receive either morphine or ibuprofen (brand names include Advil or Motrin) to help ease their discomfort.

The study, led by Dr. Naveen Poonai, of London Health Sciences Center in Ontario, found that both medications eased pain. But children who took morphine experienced more side effects which include drowsiness, nausea and vomiting,

"Given that morphine was associated with significantly more adverse effects, we conclude that ibuprofen remains a safe and effective therapy for outpatient management of children's fracture pain," the study authors wrote.

"We hope that our results will provide clinicians with a foundation for rational analgesic choices for children with fractures who are discharged from the emergency department," they added.

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