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Pain suffered by children with broken arms should be treated with ibuprofen and not codeine-laced acetaminophen, researchers have concluded after comparing the two treatments.
Dr Amy Drendel of the Medical College of Wisconsin and her colleagues found that ibuprofen had fewer side effects than acetaminophen combined with the opiate painkiller. It was also just as effective.
A study was conducted on 336 children with simple arm fractures, who were given either ibuprofen or acetaminophen in the first three days after they were released from the emergency department.
It found that although both medications could be recommended, treatment with ibuprofen only failed in 20.3% cases, compared to 31% of the time in children taking acetaminophen with codeine. The levels of pain and the reduction in pain after taking the medicine were comparable.
The study, published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, found that although there was not a significant difference in statistics, children using ibuprofen were less likely to have problems playing or eating.
Copyright Press Association 2009