Deciding which medicine to give a child in pain just got easier: The first head-to-head study of three common painkillers found that ibuprofen works best, at least for youngsters with broken bones, bruises and sprains.
Available generically and under the brand names Advil and Motrin, ibuprofen beat generic acetaminophen and codeine in an emergency-room study of 300 children treated at an Ottawa hospital.
"All of the children had some improvement in pain. . . . But ibuprofen seemed to give a better improvement in pain," said Amy Plint of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, one of the authors of the study.
The findings were published yesterday in this month's edition of the journal Pediatrics.