Write a report describing Non-opioid pharmaceutical management of dental discomfort.

Answer to Question: PHAR 6205 Pharmacology

Non-opioid medication analgesics are drugs that are used to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

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Non-opioid pain medications include NSAIDs, selective COX-2 inhibitors, and acetaminophen.

This non-opioid treatment has been used to relieve moderate to severe pain for many years.

There are many forms that contain non-opioid NSAIDs.

These products are often used in dentistry. They have proven to be more effective in relieving pain when combined than when each individual ingredient is used.

A non-opioid solution has been extensively used to relieve dental pain. Because opioid analgesics increase the risk for many undesirable side effects like depression of the central and respiratory systems, as well as the risk that the stomach can be upset, it is possible to combine different analgesics containing non-opioid ingredients. This makes them a more suitable option in the treatment of dental pain.

This article will focus on non-opioid medications that can be used to treat dental pain.

These medications are readily available and they can be purchased without a prescription. However, it does not mean that they are inferior in treating dental pain (Labianca Sarzi -Puttini, Zuccaro, Cherubino, Vellucci & Fornasari (2012)).

AcetaminophenAcetaminophen is also known as APAP which is an acronym of the chemical component N-acetyl-p-aminophenol.

Paracetamol is sometimes used to refer in certain countries to Acetaminophen.

This non-opioid drug has analgesic but not antipyretic effects. It is less anti-inflammatory than NSAIDs, and much stronger than aspirin.

Although it is not known exactly how acetaminophen works, it is believed to have the same effect as NSAIDs or aspirin. This is due to the inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis and production.

It was discovered that acetaminophen acts more in the CNS, and may have other mechanisms of action.

Acetaminophen can be used to treat dental pain.

Acetaminophen doesn’t have an anti-inflammatory effect, but it can be very effective in the management of dental pain caused inflammation.

Acetaminophen overdose can lead to liver problems.

It is a very effective and efficient analgesic when used in monotherapy. This drug relieves pain post-operatively after dental surgery.

It is important that you note that acetaminophen has a limited analgesic ability when used in high dosages to relieve moderate to severe post-op pain.

Acetaminophen is safe for dentistry because it causes very few side effect at normal adult doses.

However, it is known that acetaminophen may interact with warfarin, increasing blood clotting rates and increasing the risk of bleeding from dental surgery. (Moore & Hersh (2013)

Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs have been widely recognized as the best treatment for pain in the mouth.

NSAIDs are known for their complex mechanism of action. They prevent the formation and synthesis of cyclooxygenase-2 enzyme, which is responsible in part for pain, inflammation, and fever.

NSAIDs also prevent the synthesis of cyclooxygenase-1. The enzyme is responsible to produce the beneficial prostaglandins. These prostaglandins are important in the production and regulation of platelet activities, as well as maintaining adequate blood circulation to the kidneys.

Dose-related adverse effects and therapeutic effects of NSAIDs have been shown to be dose-dependent. Combination therapy with lower doses is recommended.

Research shows that all NSAIDs work in the same way to treat dental pain after surgery.

Ibuprofen, one of the most commonly prescribed NSAIDs, is effective in relieving dental pain after surgery.

Additional studies have shown that ibuprofen may be more effective than placebo in relieving mild to severe dental pain following surgery.


As you can see, there are many non-opioid options that can be pharmacologically administered to relieve dental pain.

Acetaminophen or NSAIDs are the most popular and most effective non-opioid products that have been discussed.

These two drugs have been extensively used in dentistry to alleviate pain and inflammation, particularly after dental surgeries.

Although these compounds can be used alone, it is necessary to combine them in order to increase their efficacy.

Refer toBryce, G., Bomfim, D. I., & Bassi, G. S. (2014).

Pre- and post-operative care for dental implant placement.

Part 1: Post-operative pain management. British dental journal, 217(3), 123.Labianca, R., Sarzi-Puttini, P., Zuccaro, S. M., Cherubino, P., Vellucci, R., & Fornasari, D. (2012).

Non-opioid and Opioid treatment of chronic pain can have adverse effects.

Clinical drug investigation. 32(1), 53–63.Moore, P. A., & Hersh, E. V. (2013).

Combining acetaminophen & ibuprofen after third-molar extractions: Transforming clinical research into dental practice.

The Journal of the American Dental Association. 144(8), 898-908.Pogatzki-Zahn, E., Chandrasena, C., & Schug, S. A. (2014). Nonopioid analgesics for postoperative pain management.

Current Opinions in Anesthesiology (27(5)), 513-519.

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