Drug* Mean NNT† 95% CI
Diclofenac (100 mg PO) 1.9 1.6 - 2.2
Rofecoxib (50 mg PO) 1.9 1.8 - 2.1
Codein (60 mg) + acetaminophen (1000 mg PO) 2.2 1.7 – 2.9
Diclofenac (50 mg PO) 2.3 2.0 – 2.7
Ibuprofen (600 mg PO) 2.4 1.9 – 3.3
Oxycodone (15 mg PO) 2.4 1.5 – 4.9
Oxycodone (5 mg) + acetaminophen (325 mg PO) 2.5 2.0 – 3.2
Ketorolac (10 mg PO) 2.6 2.3 – 3.2
Meperidine (100 mg IM) 2.9 2.6 – 3.6
Morphine (10 mg IM) 2.9 2.6 – 3.6
Ketorolac (30 mg IM) 3.4 2.5 – 4.9
Acetaminophen (1000 mg PO) 3.8 3.4 – 4.4
Aspirin (1000 mg PO) 4.0 3.2 – 5.4
Codeine (60 mg) + acetaminophen (600 to 650 mg PO) 4.2 3.4 – 5.3
Aspirin (600 to 650 mg PO) 4.4 4.0 – 4.9
Dextropropoxyphene (65 mg) + acetaminophen
(650 mg PO)
4.4 3.5 – 5.6
Acetaminophen (600 to 650 mg PO) 4.6 3.9 – 5.5
Tramadol (100 mg PO) 4.8 3.8 – 6.1
Dextropropoxyphene (65 mg PO) 7.7 4.6 – 22
Dihydrocodeine (30 mg PO) 8.1 4.1 – 540
Codeine (60 mg PO) 16.7 11.0 – 48.0
CI, confidence interval; IM, intramuscular; NNT, number needed to treat; PO, oral route.
†NNT in this case refers to the number of patients who must be treated to obtain greater than 50% relief of moderate to severe postoperative pain.
Table 2: Effect of single dose analgesics in controlling moderate and severe pain more than 50%.