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Good evidence supports ibuprofen as an effective and safe analgesic for postoperative pain

Arthur Jeske DMD, PhD; James Zahrowski DMD, MS, PharmD .


Systematic Review Conclusion

Substantial evidence from multiple highquality randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and consistency across studies suggests single-dose ibuprofen effectively reduces acute moderate to severe postoperative pain in adults, with minimal adverse effects.

Critical Summary Assessment

A high-quality systematic review of 72 randomized controlled and generally well-designed trials (mostly high-quality and double-masked) suggests that single doses of ibuprofen 200 to 400 milligrams provide relief of acute moderate to severe postoperative pain for approximately five hours in 50 percent of adults. Higher doses increased the effectiveness. Adverse drug effects were uncommon and similar to those of placebo.

Evidence Quality Rating

Good Evidence

This summary is published in the Journal of the American Dental Association and can be accessed at:

Critical Summary Publication Date:


These summaries are not intended to, and do not, express, imply, or summarize standards of care, but rather provide a concise reference for dentists to aid in understanding and applying evidence from the referenced systematic review in making clinically sound decisions as guided by their clinical judgment and by patient needs. American Dental Association © 2019