Background: This study evaluated the effectiveness of 400 mg ibuprofen arginate either as a pre-emptive (PRE group) or postoperative (POST group) analgesic using a common dental pain model.
Methods: A randomized double-blind crossover clinical trial involving a series of consecutive patients admitted for bilateral third molar surgery. Results were analysed according to the self-reported pain score and the pattern of rescue medication taken.
Results: The mean pain score ranged from 0.73 to 1.60 for the PRE group and 0.47 to 1.41 for the POST group among 30 included subjects. The mean time point when first rescue medication taken was 7.3 hours and 8.3 hours postoperative, respectively. Nine patients (30 per cent) in the PRE group and 12 patients (40 per cent) in the POST group took no rescue medication. There was no statistically significant difference for all parameters between groups, while a majority (53 per cent) found the drug "good" to "excellent" in both groups.
Conclusions: Ibuprofen arginate may be considered effective in reducing surgically induced moderate to severe pain when administered either pre-operatively or postoperatively due to the reported relatively low pain score, less consumption of rescue medication, delayed onset of pain, good number of pain-free patients and a high rating in the global assessment score.