Pain, swelling, loss of function, and hyperthermia are acute postoperative sequelae of inflammation due to tissue injury during surgical procedures. Pharmacologic strategies for minimizing the clinical manifestations of surgical trauma are often directed toward blocking the formation or inhibiting the effects of the biochemical mediators of acute inflammation. This study compared two nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), flurbiprofen and ibuprofen, with a prototype glucocorticoid, methylprednisolone, in two replicate placebo-controlled studies for suppression of inflammation due to the surgical removal of impacted third molars. The results indicate that NSAIDs produce greater initial analgesia than do steroids, whereas steroids result in greater suppression of swelling and less loss of function. Examination of the pooled data from the two studies indicates that NSAID pretreatment results in a modest suppression of swelling in comparison with placebo. These data suggest that the acute analgesic effects of NSAIDs in the oral surgery model are due to suppression of a nociceptive process, presumably prostaglandin formation, rather than a generalized anti-inflammatory effect.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Oral Surgery