The US Department of Health and Human Services has declared the national opioid crisis a public health emergency1

Despite the risk of addiction, similar or lower efficacy and higher rates of acute adverse events compared with OTC NSAIDs, opioids still may be prescribed too often for pain relief. This practice has helped contribute to unprecedented levels of opioid addiction and overdose deaths.2,3

During the COVID pandemic, the opioid crisis has been exacerbated even further5

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reported that overdose deaths from opioids rose from 50,178 in 2019 to 69,080 in 2020.5

With the current opioid crisis, consider other options for treating minor dental pain1

A recent study shows that opioids are not associated with greater patient satisfaction for pain management after dental extractions.6


Aleve® is a non-opioid OTC NSAID that, in a single-center, randomized, double-blind, parallel, placebo-controlled study, was shown to be as effective* as hydrocodone plus acetaminophen (HYD+APAP) for dental pain, lasted longer, and was better tolerated.2

*In hours 0 to 4 of a single-dose dental study of Aleve® (440 mg), HYD+APAP (10 mg + 650 mg), or placebo. Aleve® is indicated for minor aches and pains.2,15


References: 1. US Department of Health and Human Services. Determination that a public health emergency exists. October 26, 2017. 2. Cooper SA, Desjardins PJ, Bertoch T, et al. Analgesic efficacy of naproxen sodium versus hydrocodone/acetaminophen in acute postsurgical dental pain: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial 2021. doi:10.1080/00325481.2021.2008180. 3. Manchikanti L, Singh A. Therapeutic opioids: a ten-year perspective on the complexities and complications of the escalating use, abuse, and nonmedical use of opioids. Pain Physician. 2008;11(2 Suppl):S63-S88. 4. Scholl L, Seth P, Kariisa M, Wilson N, Baldwin G. Drug and opioid-involved overdose deaths—United States, 2013-2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2019;67(51-52):1419-1427. 5. Ahmad FB, Rossen LM, Sutton P. Provisional drug overdose death counts. National Center for Health Statistics. 2021. Accessed August 11, 2021. 6. Nalliah RP, Sloss KR, Kenney BC, et al. Association of opioid use with pain and satisfaction after dental extraction. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(3):e200901. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.0901 7. American Dental Association announces new policy to combat opioid epidemic. News release. American Dental Association. March 26, 2018. Accessed July 28, 2021. 8. American Dental Association. Statement on the use of opioids in the treatment of dental pain. October 2016. Accessed October 14, 2021. 9. American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Opioid prescribing: acute and postoperative pain management; 2020. White Paper. Accessed July 28, 2021. 10. Nalamachu S, Pendergrass S, Vega C. Over-the-counter analgesics for the management of acute pain:clinical experience in the era of the opioid crisis. Accessed July 28, 2021.
11. Dowell D, Haegerich T, Chou R. CDC guideline for prescribing opioids for chronic pain—United States, 2016. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2016;65(1):1-49. doi:10.15585/mmwr.rr6501e1 12. Blondell R, Azadfard M, Wisniewski A. Pharmacologic herapy for acute pain. Am Fam Physician. 2013;87(11):766-772. 13. Suda K, Zhou J, Rowan S, et al. Overprescribing of opioids to adults by dentists in the U.S., 2011-2015. Am J Prev Med. 2020;58(4):473-486. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2019.11.006 14. Katz J, Smith S, Collins J, et al. Cost-effectiveness of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and opioids in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis in older patients with multiple comorbidities. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2016;24(3):409-418. doi:10.1016/j.joca.2015.10.006 15. Aleve®Caplets. Drug facts. Bayer HealthCare; April 2018.