Analgesic efficacy of an ibuprofen-codeine combination

Pharmacotherapy. May-Jun 1982;2(3):162-7. doi: 10.1002/j.1875-9114.1982.tb04528.x.


Subjects who had undergone dental impaction surgery and who had moderate to severe postoperative pain were given, under double-blind, randomized conditions, a single dose of either codeine 60 mg, aspirin 650 mg, ibuprofen 400 mg, aspirin 650 mg + codeine 60 mg, ibuprofen 400 mg + codeine 60 mg, or placebo. A total of 249 subjects were included in the statistical analysis. On a report form, subjects recorded pain intensity, pain relief, and side effects hourly for four hours. They also gave an overall impression at the end of the observation period. Analysis of variance and pairwise contrasts were used to analyze the data. For the sum of pain intensity differences, the total of the hourly pain relief scores, and overall impression, there was a significant analgesic effect for codeine, aspirin, and ibuprofen and no significant interaction when they were used in combination. Ibuprofen alone was statistically superior to aspirin and also achieved higher mean scores than the aspirin-codeine combination. The ibuprofen-codeine combination was the most effective treatment for every analgesic parameter, but it was not statistically superior to ibuprofen alone. The possibility exists that the ibuprofen-codeine combination peaked out the sensitivity of the model. There was no notable difference in the frequency or intensity of side effects among the treatment groups, and no subject had to withdraw due to an adverse effect. This study again confirms the superiority of ibuprofen to aspirin and suggests that ibuprofen is at least as effective as an aspirin-codeine combination. Codeine added a small amount of additional analgesia when used in combination with ibuprofen.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aspirin / adverse effects
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Codeine / administration & dosage
  • Codeine / adverse effects
  • Codeine / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Synergism
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ibuprofen / administration & dosage
  • Ibuprofen / adverse effects
  • Ibuprofen / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy*
  • Random Allocation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tooth, Impacted / surgery


  • Codeine
  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen