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Ibuprofen was more effective than codeine or acetaminophen for musculoskeletal pain in children

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 Q In children with musculoskeletal pain, what is the relative efficacy of ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and codeine?

Clinical impact ratings Paediatrics ★★★★★★★ Emergency medicine ★★★★★★☆ Paediatric emergency medicine ★★★★★☆☆


Embedded ImageDesign:

randomised controlled trial.

Embedded ImageAllocation:


Embedded ImageBlinding:

blinded (patients [children and parents], {healthcare providers}*, and data collectors).

Embedded ImageFollow up period:

120 minutes.

Embedded ImageSetting:

the emergency department of an academic, tertiary care children’s hospital in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Embedded ImagePatients:

336 children 6–17 years of age (mean age 12 y, 60% boys) presenting to the emergency department with pain from a musculoskeletal injury to extremities, neck, or back that occurred in the previous 48 hours. Exclusion criteria included contraindication to a study drug, receipt of 1 of the study drugs in …

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  • * Information provided by author.

  • See glossary.

  • For correspondence: Dr A Plint, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. plint{at}

  • Source of funding: Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute.

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