Ibuprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, is very commonly used to relieve pain, reduce fever and inflammation. However, a new study recommends using ibuprofen over oral morphine to relieve pain in children with bone fracture.
Every year thousands of patients are treated with bone fractures. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that playground-related injuries can also result in bone fractures. A Canadian research suggests that about 10 percent to 25 percent of all child injuries are associated with fractures. Pain from bone fractures can cause immense pain for the first 48 hours following an injury. However, the number of pain killers for children remains limited.
Oral morphine and ibuprofen are both used by doctors as a remedy for pain relief for kids suffering with broken bones. Although both the medicines are effective enough to ease pain, experts believe that oral morphine has more side effects when compared to ibuprofen. The researchers of the study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) revealed that prescribing oral morphine or other opioids is on the rise.
"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," per the authors of the study.
The study involved 134 children between the age of 5 and 17 years who suffered from some sort of bone fractures but did not need any type of surgery. Ibuprofen was given to 68 children while the rest were given oral morphine to relieve pain.
The study compared the effectiveness of both the medicines to reduce pain and found that both ibuprofen and oral morphine were successful to reduce pain in all the participants. However, children who took oral morphine experienced side effects such as vomiting, nausea and drowsiness.
The authors of the study believe that as morphine is associated with several adverse events, ibuprofen should be considered as an effective and safe treatment to manage fracture pain in outpatients.
The study authors hope that the result of their study will assist medical experts to make a sound pain relief choice for children suffering with bone fractures who are discharged from the emergency department.