Introduction Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been commonly used to treat endodontic postoperative pain. The purpose of this study was to address the following Population, Intervention, Comparator, Outcome, Timing, Study design and setting question: in patients with preoperative pain who undergo initial orthograde endodontic treatment, what is the comparative efficacy of NSAIDS compared with non-narcotic analgesics or placebo in reducing postoperative pain and the incidence of adverse events. Methods Ovid MEDLINE (1946–December 15, 2015), the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2005–December 15, 2015), and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (to December 15, 2015) were searched using included drugs, indications, and study designs as search terms. Hand searches in texts were also conducted. Two independent reviewers assessed eligibility for inclusion, extracted data, and assessed quality using the risk of bias tool. L'Abbe plots were used for qualitative review. Where applicable, meta-analysis was conducted on the pooled effect size (ES). Results Two thousand two hundred eighty-four studies were identified through the database searches; 405 full-text articles were assessed. Fifteen articles met the inclusion criteria; qualitative analysis revealed all studies had a moderate to high risk of bias. Ibuprofen was the most studied NSAID. The L'Abbe plots showed that NSAIDS are effective at relieving postoperative endodontic pain overall. Meta-analysis showed that ibuprofen 600 mg is more effective than placebo at 6 hours postoperatively (ES = 10.50, P = .037), and ibuprofen 600 mg + acetaminophen 1000 mg combination is more effective than placebo (ES = 34.89, P = .000) but not significantly different than ibuprofen (ES = 13.94, P = .317). Five studies reported patients experiencing adverse events such as drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, and emesis; 2 studies reported that patients experienced no adverse events. Conclusions A combination of ibuprofen 600 mg and acetaminophen 1000 mg is more effective than placebo but not significantly different than ibuprofen 600 mg at 6 hours postoperatively. Ibuprofen 600 mg is more effective than placebo at 6 hours postoperatively; however, there are insufficient data to recommend the most effective NSAID, dose amount, or dose interval for the relief of postoperative endodontic pain of longer duration in patients with preoperative pain.
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- systematic review
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