Importance: The opioid epidemic has generated interest in optimizing opioid prescribing after common surgeries. Recent studies have shown a broad range of analgesic prescription patterns following endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS). Objective: To compare the efficacy of different analgesic regimens after ESS. Design, Setting, and Participants: This multi-institutional, nonblinded randomized clinical trial was conducted at 6 tertiary centers across the US and Canada and included participants who underwent ESS for acute or chronic rhinosinusitis. The study was conducted from March 2019 to March 2020, and the data were analyzed in November to December 2020. Interventions: All participants received acetaminophen, 650 mg, as the first-line analgesic. From there, patients were randomized to either oxycodone rescue (oxycodone, 5 mg, as second-line therapy) or ibuprofen rescue (ibuprofen, 600 mg, as second-line therapy, with oxycodone, 5 mg, reserved for breakthrough pain). Main Outcomes and Measures: Baseline characteristics and disease severity were collected at enrollment. Medication logs, pain scores, and epistaxis measures were collected until postoperative day 7. The primary outcome was the postoperative visual analog scale score for pain. Brief Pain Inventory Pain Severity and Pain Interference Scores were also collected. Results: A total of 118 patients were randomized (62 [52.5%] oxycodone rescue, 56 [47.5%] ibuprofen rescue; mean [SD] age, 46.7 [16.3] years; 44 women [44.0%]; 83 White [83.0%], 7 Black [7.0%], and 7 Asian individuals [7.0%]). After exclusions for loss to follow-up and noncompliance, 51 remained in the oxycodone rescue group and 49 in the ibuprofen rescue group. The groups had similar demographic characteristics and disease severity. Thirty-two (63%) in the oxycodone rescue group had adequate pain management with acetaminophen only, while 19 (37%) consumed at least 1 oxycodone dose. In the ibuprofen rescue group, 18 (16%) required only acetaminophen, 28 (57%) used only acetaminophen and ibuprofen, and the remaining 13 (26%) consumed 1 or more oxycodone doses. The groups had similar average acetaminophen (9.69 vs 7.96 doses; difference, 1.73; 95% CI, -1.37 to 4.83) and oxycodone (1.89 vs 0.77 doses; difference, 1.13; 95% CI, -0.11 to 2.36) use. Both groups had similar postoperative visual analog scale scores. A subanalysis that compared opioids users with nonusers showed clinically significant lower pain scores in nonusers at multiple postoperative points. Conclusions and Relevance: In this randomized clinical trial, most patients who underwent ESS could be treated postoperatively using a nonopioid regimen of either acetaminophen alone or acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Ibuprofen as a second-line therapy did not reduce overall narcotic consumption, but the overall narcotic use was low in both groups. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03783702.
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