The Pharmacy Read List: February 9th Edition

It’s almost reading week here at UBC, but we’re keeping the ball rolling for you, readers! We’re also happy to announce that we’ve randomly drawn a winner from the correct entries of January’s quiz. Congratulations to Ziharrphil Magnaye! You will be contacted shortly by email with your prize.

The Read List is a biweekly update on pharmaceutical literature. Every two weeks we handpick one of the most relevant and interesting pharmacy-related publications and summarize it for your convenience. At the end of every month, a quiz on that month’s content will be released. Simply take the quiz and answer correctly to be automatically entered into a draw for a gift card prize!

This week we describe a randomized trial of morphine, an opioid medication, and ibuprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, on children post-tonsillectomy and the comparative outcomes question the use of opioids in this situation.

Instructions to access: Copy and paste the article title into UBC Summon to read the full article, or access the EZProxy link below.

Morphine or Ibuprofen for Post-Tonsillectomy Analgesia: A Randomized Trial

Pediatric sleep disordered breathing caused by hypertrophy of the tonsils is commonly managed by tonsillectomy. Every year, more than 500, 000 tonsillectomies are performed on children in the US. This prospective randomized clinical trial compared the safety and effectiveness of morphine and ibuprofen for management of post-surgical pain, to address the controversy regarding which post surgical agents are safe and efficacious for post surgical analgesia in this population. A total of 91 children aged 1 to 10 years undergoing tonsillectomies were randomized to receive acetaminophen with either 0.2–0.5 mg/kg oral morphine or 10 mg/kg of oral ibuprofen. The Objective Pain Scale and Faces Scale were used to assess effectiveness on postoperative day 1 and day 5. Ibuprofen in combination with acetaminophen proved to be safe and effective for post-surgical pain relief in children undergoing tonsillectomy and improved oxygen saturation in 68% of the patients on the first night after the procedure as compared to an improvement of only 14% seen in patients treated with morphine. There were no differences seen in tonsillar bleeding events or in analgesic effectiveness. Although small, this study raises important questions about the place of opioid analgesics in the management of post-surgical pain in pediatric population.

– Harpreet Bahniwal
B.Sc. (Pharm) Candidate 2016

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