The Opioid Analgesic Reduction Study (OARS) Pilot: A Double-Blind Randomized Multicenter Trial

C. A. Feldman, J. Fredericks-Younger, P. J. Desjardins, H. Malmstrom, M. Miloro, G. Warburton, B. Ward, V. Ziccardi, D. H. Fine, P. Greenberg, T. Andrews, P. B. Matheson, S. E. Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: With addiction rates and opioid deaths increasing, health care providers are obligated to help stem the opioid crisis. As limited studies examine the comparative effectiveness of fixed-dose combination nonopioid analgesia to opioid-containing analgesia, a comparative effectiveness study was planned and refined by conducting a pilot study. Methods: The Opioid Analgesic Reduction Study (OARS) pilot, a stratified, randomized, multisite, double-blind clinical trial, was designed to test technology and procedures to be used in the full OARS trial. Participants engaged in the full protocol, enabling the collection of OARS outcome data. Eligible participants reporting to 1 of 5 sites for partial or full bony impacted mandibular third molar extraction were stratified by biologic sex and randomized to 1 of 2 treatment groups, OPIOID or NONOPIOID. OPIOID participants were provided 20 doses of hydrocodone 5 mg/acetaminophen 300 mg. NONOPIOID participants were provided 20 doses of ibuprofen 400 mg/acetaminophen 500 mg. OARS outcomes data, including pain experience, adverse effects, sleep quality, pain interference, overall satisfaction, and remaining opioid tablets available for diversion, were collected via surveys, electronic medication bottles, eDiary, and activity/sleep monitor. Results: Fifty-three participants were randomized with 50 completing the OARS pilot protocol. Across all outcome pain domains, in all but 1 time period, NONOPIOID was better in managing pain than OPIOID (P < 0.05 level). Other outcomes suggest less pain interference, less adverse events, better sleep quality, better overall satisfaction, and fewer opioid-containing tablets available for diversion. Discussion: Results suggest patients requiring impacted mandibular third molar extraction would benefit from fixed-dose combination nonopioid analgesia. Knowledge Transfer Statement: Study results suggest fixed-dose nonopioid combination ibuprofen 400 mg/acetaminophen 500 mg is superior to opioid-containing analgesic (hydrocodone 5 mg/acetaminophen 500 mg). This knowledge should inform surgeons and patients in the selection of postsurgical analgesia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-84
Number of pages13
JournalJDR Clinical and Translational Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Dentistry


  • acetaminophen
  • clinical trial
  • hydrocodone
  • ibuprofen
  • oral and maxillofacial surgery
  • pain


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