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Ibuprofen can increase blood loss during gum surgery: study

Scheduling gum surgery? Ask your dentist if you should limit or discontinue your ibuprofen intake.

Blood loss is twice as great for patients taking ibuprofen prior to surgery to correct gum disease than for those who aren't taking it, according to researchers at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine.

The Case study was one of the first to examine effects of ibuprofen use prior to oral surgery and on rates of bleeding during and after periodontal surgery for gum disease.

"Taken prior to periodontal surgery, ibuprofen increases blood loss during surgery in patients up to almost two times that of those who do not take ibuprofen," Case researchers say.

In the study, fifteen individuals underwent two surgeries. They were asked to take one 400 mg tablet of ibuprofen at time intervals nine, five and one hours prior to surgery. Patients did not inform the periodontist performing the surgery about the drug use.

Each patient also underwent a pre-operative bleeding time test before ibuprofen use to determine his or her normal rate of blood loss. During and following surgery, the amount of blood loss was measured.

Ibuprofen is one of the most commonly taken over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Among its many uses is treating the inflammation of arthritis and preventing blood clots associated with heart disease. NSAIDs are also widely used to reduce fever and relieve pain.

In reporting pain during the surgery, eight of the ibuprofen users reported less pain while the other seven patients reported similar or increased pain.

Please contact the ADA if you have questions about this article.

©2010 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

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