The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of one dose of a common narcotic-based pain reliever (Vicodin) on a battery of oral sensitivity tests across time in women. Fifteen Caucasian women randomly were given an oral dose of 10 mg of hydrocodone/1000 mg of acetaminophen or placebo in a double-blind, cross-over design. At baseline (before drug) and after 2, 4, and 8 h each subject was evaluated for sensitivity thresholds with four tests around an experimental tooth: (a) electric pulp tester applied to exposed root; (b) electric pulp tester on adjacent mucosa; (c) increasing probe pressure (grams) on adjacent mucosa; and (d) decreasing cold probe (°C) on the exposed root. The outcomes of all tests were not statistically different between drug and placebo treatments at any time point (p > 0.05). These results suggest that a systemic dose of hydrocodone/ acetaminophen has little impact on healthy pulp or mucosa sensitivity in women as measured by common diagnostic tests.
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