Samuel Duplessis Grimson
Journal of Paramedic Practice, Vol. 8, Iss. 1, 11 Jan 2016, pp 26 - 33

Since the introduction of IV paracetamol to UK ambulance services in 2012
there has been some debate as to which is the better analgesic, IV paracetamol
or IV morphine. This literature review was designed to compare the effectiveness
of IV paracetamol and IV morphine and consider whether IV paracetamol has
any morphine sparing effects. A clinical question was constructed asking: 'Is IV
paracetamol as effective an analgesic as IV morphine for patients in non-cardiac
pain?' and inputted into a variety of journal databases. This returned 2 952
articles, of which 60 abstracts were read and 9 were reviewed, after relevant
exclusions were made. It was found that IV paracetamol is as effective as
IV morphine and consistently causes fewer adverse reactions, if given as a standalone
medication. The review suggests that IV paracetamol could significantly
reduce the dose of IV morphine required for post-operative patients. The review
recommends that paramedics should favour administering IV paracetamol rather
than IV morphine, if the clinician is faced with a choice. Current guidelines need
to be updated in line with current research that demonstrates the effectiveness
and safety of IV paracetamol.

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