Pain Medication Use by Children After Common Surgeries

JAMA Surgery


Media advisory: To contact corresponding author Calista M. Harbaugh, M.D., M.S., email Kara Gavin at The full study is linked to this news release.

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Bottom Line: About 400 caregivers reported pain medication use by children after common surgeries such as hernia, elbow fracture, appendectomy or adenoid removal in this study. Most reported using acetaminophen or ibuprofen or both; 88 patients (22%) were prescribed an opioid at hospital discharge and most used less than prescribed. The lack of an opioid prescription wasn’t associated with poor pain control, a postdischarge opioid prescription or a pain-related visit to an emergency department for patients. Limitations of the study include that it was conducted at a single center and patients weren’t randomized.

Authors: Calista M. Harbaugh, M.D., M.S., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and coauthors



Editor’s Note: The article includes conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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