Pain Management

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After Your Surgery

Post-Operative Instructions

Some discomfort is normal after oral surgery. You should begin taking pain medication prior to the local anesthetic wearing off. You may begin taking pain medication when you get home, along with some food. We recommend starting with ibuprofen (Advil® or Motrin®) 600 mg. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets; 3 tablets may be taken 4 times daily, not to exceed 3200 mg daily for an adult. An excellent over-the-counter option is to alternate between ibuprofen and acetaminophen (Tylenol®) every 3–4 hours, which is ideal for managing most types of pain after oral surgery. In addition to ibuprofen, 1 or 2 tablets of acetaminophen (Tylenol 325 mg or Tylenol Extra Strength 500 mg) may be taken every 4 hours, not to exceed 3000 mg a day.

If you have been prescribed a narcotic (opioid) pain medication (e.g., Tylenol #3, Norco®, Vicodin®, Ultram®), please use only as directed. We recommend only using opioid pain medication if the above regimen is not adequately managing your pain. You may alternate the opioid with ibuprofen if instructed to do so. The opioid you have been prescribed also has acetaminophen, so be mindful of the 3000 mg maximum daily dose. Opioids do have some unpleasant side effects. Nausea and sometimes vomiting are common. Drowsiness, which can impair your reflexes and judgment, is also common. Therefore, if you take this medication, do not drive, operate machinery, go to work or school, or make important decisions. This medication can also cause constipation. Opioids can be habit-forming. Avoid alcoholic beverages or other sedative medications while on opioid pain medication.

If you have reduced kidney function, please consult with your physician, as you may need to alter the dosing of ibuprofen.

We recommend that you familiarize yourself with these medications by reading the package insert and/or information provided by your pharmacist. If you have any questions about these medications, please call (815) 459-7400.

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