Emergency rooms are where many patients are first introduced to powerful opioid painkillers, but what if doctors offered over-the-counter pills instead? A new study tested that approach on patients with broken bones and sprains and found pain relievers sold as Tylenol and Motrin worked as well as opioids at reducing severe pain.
The results challenge common ER practice for treating short-term, severe pain and could prompt changes that would help prevent new patients from becoming addicted.
Will ER’s actually start using OTC? There is an up-charge on all drugs so there is potential a greater profit to be made on more expensive medications.