A double-blind randomised controlled clinical trial of the effect of preoperative ibuprofen, diclofenac, paracetamol with codeine and placebo tablets for relief of postoperative pain after removal of impacted third molars

A. Joshi, E. Parara, Tatiana MacFarlane

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56 Citations (Scopus)


We conducted a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled single-centre study to compare the effect of preoperative ibuprofen 600mg, diclofenac 100mg, paracetamol. 1 g with codeine 60mg or placebo (Vitamin C 50mg) tablets for relief of postoperative pain in 119 patients who had day case operations under general anaesthesia for removal of impacted third molars. Patients were given the tablets 1 h before operation. Pain was assessed using visual analogue scales and verbal rating scales preoperatively at 15 and 30 min and 1 and 3 h postoperatively. After they had gone home, patients were contacted by telephone at 6 and 24 h postoperatively to find out whether they had any adverse effects from the analgesics. There was no significant difference in the extent of postoperative pain among the four groups, but the placebo group had significantly shorter times before their first request for postoperative analgesics (median 17 min, range 14-90) than the diclofenac group (median 32, range 15-150).

Preoperative analgesics at the stated doses are effective in providing immediate postoperative pain control after operations on third molars. There were, however, some side-effects including nausea, vomiting, headaches, and gastrointestinal discomfort, but there were no significant differences among the active analgesic groups with respect to adverse events either shortly after operation or at 6 or 24 h. (C) 2004 The British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-306
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004


  • pre-emptive analgesia
  • third molar surgery
  • postoperative pain
  • preemptive analgesia
  • oral-surgery
  • suppression
  • anesthesia
  • morphine
  • sodium

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