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Over-the-Counter As Effective As Rx at Managing Post-Tonsillectomy Pain
Date:10/1/2013

Detroit, Michigan (PRWEB) October 01, 2013

You may be able to eat all of the ice cream you want after having your tonsils removed, but researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit say you don’t necessarily need a prescription to reduce post-operative pain – an over-the-counter pain reliever is just as effective.

The study shows over-the-counter ibuprofen manages pain after a tonsillectomy for children and adults as well as the prescription pain medications acetaminophen with hydrocodone and acetaminophen with codeine, which is no longer recommended for use in children.

“Based on this study and the FDA warning about the risks of children taking any medication with codeine, we recommend that children receive over-the-counter ibuprofen after a tonsillectomy,” says lead study author Robert T. Standring, M.D., with the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Henry Ford.

“Ibuprofen appears to be the safest alternative that still provides adequate pain control for children.”

Study results will be presented Tuesday, Oct. 1 at the 2013 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) annual meeting in Vancouver, BC.

Tonsillectomy, the surgical removal of the tonsils, is the second most common out-patient surgery for children younger than age 15. Each year, an estimated 662,000 children undergo a tonsillectomy.

Pain is the primary source of illness following a tonsillectomy, causing dehydration, difficulty and painful swallowing, and weight loss. These symptoms can lead to increased post-operative visits and hospital readmission.

In 2012, the FDA recommended that children not be given medication with codeine due to associated risks. Additionally, in 2011 the AAO-HNS published a clinical Practice Guideline on tonsillectomy in children, recommending a weight-based pain regimen be given based on pain scores of patient.

With these changes, the
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