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Acetaminophen Safe as First-Line Analgesic for Most Older Adults

Last Updated: April 19, 2019.

Despite a potential increased risk for stroke in patients with diabetes, acetaminophen is a safe first-line analgesic for most older adults living in nursing homes, according to a study published online March 26 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

FRIDAY, April 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Despite a potential increased risk for stroke in patients with diabetes, acetaminophen is a safe first-line analgesic for most older adults living in nursing homes, according to a study published online March 26 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Philippe Girard, M.D., from Université de Toulouse in France, and colleagues used data from the Impact of Educational and Professional Supportive Interventions on Nursing Home Quality Indicators project (5,429 participants living in 175 nursing homes) to assess the association of adverse events and mortality with therapeutic dosages of acetaminophen.

The researchers found that 2,239 participants took an average of 2,352 mg of acetaminophen daily. There were no associations between acetaminophen use and the risk for mortality (hazard ratio, 0.97; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.86 to 1.1) or myocardial infarction. However, use of acetaminophen was associated with a significantly increased risk for stroke in participants with diabetes (hazard ratio, 3.19; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.25 to 8.18; P = 0.0157) in one of the models.

"Pain management in nursing homes is a health priority, and acetaminophen remains a good therapeutic choice as a first-line analgesic," the authors write.

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