Opiate vs non-opiate prescription medication for pain control after endoscopic sinus surgery for chronic rhinosinusitis

Jenna E. Bergman, Roy R. Casiano, Ana B. Perez, Alejandro M. Mantero, Corinna G. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Research indicates that most providers give opiates after endoscopic sinonasal surgery. The effectiveness of non-opiate medications after sinonasal surgery is poorly understood and most studies do not assess medication failure. This study compares oral opiate, oral opiate and topical steroid, and oral non-opiate pain control. Patient call-backs are used as a proxy for pain medication failure. Materials and methods: This study compares three medication regiments after sinonasal surgery for 180 adults with chronic rhinosinusitis. Patients were instructed to take acetaminophen for mild pain. For moderate/severe pain, patients used: 1) oxycodone-acetaminophen, 2) oxycodone-acetaminophen + budesonide nasal rinses, or 3) meloxicam + acetaminophen. Patients were instructed to call clinic if pain was not controlled. Descriptive statistics compared cohorts. Chi-square tests compared call-backs between cohorts. Logistic regression adjusted for baseline differences in covariates, comorbidities, and operative sites. Results: Cohorts had similar age, sex distribution, disease features, and extent of surgery. The meloxicam cohort had less subjects with pain disorders. The oxycodone cohort had less subjects with diabetes, septoplasty, and turbinate reduction. After adjusting for baseline differences and using oxycodone as the reference group (n = 50), the odds of calling clinic for poorly controlled pain was 0.18 (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.05–0.6) in the meloxicam cohort (n = 45) and 0.19 (95% CI:0.07–0.5) in the oxycodone + budesonide rinses cohort (n = 85). Conclusion: In this study, both meloxicam and oxycodone + budesonide rinses were more effective at controlling pain after sinonasal surgery than oxycodone alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103214
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Analgesics, opioid
  • Assessment, pain
  • Management, pain
  • Pain, postoperative
  • Sinusitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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