A systematic review prepared for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality that evaluated the effectiveness and harms of opioids compared to nonopioid analgesics in the emergency department. The authors found that for initial analgesics administered primarily intravenously, opioids are no different than ketamine, acetaminophen, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in reducing pain. Opioids may cause fewer total side affects than ketamine, but more than acetaminophen or NSAIDs.
Authors: D.M. Sobieraj, W.L. Baker, B.K. Martinez, B. Miao, A.V. Hernandez, C.I. Coleman, M.X. Cicero, & R.A. Kamin, University of Connecticut Evidence-based Practice Center
Funding source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Comparative Effectiveness of Analgesics To Reduce Acute Pain in the Prehospital Setting
An AHRQ systematic review comparing effectiveness and harms of opioids and other analgesics in the emergency department.