November 2, 2017

Background: Acute, minor musculoskeletal injuries (i.e. non-fracture or dislocations) are frequently seen in the Emergency Department. Aside from ruling out a more severe injury, management often focuses on pain relief or mitigation of pain. Though many analgesic agents exist, acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used for this indication. Both have important side effects or potential for adverse events that must be considered when prescribing them. Finally, it is unclear if combining the two classes of medications is beneficial.

October 19, 2015

Background: Acetaminophen (paracetamol) is commonly used to lower the temperature of patients with fever suspected to be causeed by an infection in both homes across the world and the hospital. There are, however, opposing theories to the utility of decreasing fever in these situations. One side argues that fever places “additional physiological stress on patients,” who are already ill (Young 2015). Removing this source of increased metabolic demand would allow the body to allocate additional resources to fighting infection, respiratory function etc. On the other hand, fever may “enhance immune-cell function” and inhibit further growth and spread of an infecting pathogen (Young 2015). From a simple evolutionary standpoint, fever, which entails a significant cost likely evolved and persists because it benefits the host. To date we don’t have high-level evidence that acetaminophen treatment of fever due to probable infection is beneficial, ineffective, or harmful.