Face Fracture Medication

Updated: Oct 24, 2016
  • Author: Thomas Widell, MD; Chief Editor: Steven C Dronen, MD, FAAEM  more...
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Medication

Medication Summary

When airway control is needed, rapid sequence induction often is the preferred method. Perform rapid sequence induction, using medications to induce unconsciousness and muscle paralysis to facilitate intubation. A cricothyroidotomy kit should be at bedside if oral intubation cannot be accomplished.

Provide adequate analgesia, including opioids, NSAIDs, or local anesthetics. Prophylactic antibiotics are controversial when a CSF leak is identified or when the fracture involves the sinuses. It is usually left to the discretion of the specialist assuming care of the patient. If the nares has been packed for epistaxis, prophylactic antibiotics should be used to prevent infection, including toxic shook syndrome. If the patient has an open wound, update tetanus immunization.

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Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs)

Class Summary

These drugs are used most commonly for relief of mild to moderately severe pain. Effects of NSAIDs in treatment of pain tend to be patient specific, yet ibuprofen is usually DOC for initial therapy. Other options include flurbiprofen, ketoprofen, and naproxen.

Ibuprofen (Ibuprin, Advil, Motrin)

Usually DOC for treatment of mild to moderately severe pain, if no contraindications. Inhibits inflammatory reactions and pain, probably by decreasing activity of enzyme cyclooxygenase, which inhibits prostaglandin synthesis.

Naproxen (Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn)

For relief of mild to moderately severe pain. Inhibits inflammatory reactions and pain by decreasing activity of enzyme cyclooxygenase, which decreases prostaglandin synthesis.

Flurbiprofen (Ansaid)

Has analgesic, antipyretic, and anti-inflammatory effects. May inhibit cyclooxygenase enzyme, inhibiting prostaglandin biosynthesis.

Ketoprofen (Oruvail, Orudis, Actron)

Used for relief of mild to moderately severe pain and inflammation. Administer small dosages initially to patients with small bodies, older persons, and those with renal or liver disease. Doses higher than 75 mg do not increase therapeutic effects. Administer high doses with caution and closely observe patients for response.

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Analgesics

Class Summary

Pain control is essential to quality patient care. It ensures patient comfort, promotes pulmonary toilet, and aids physical therapy regimens. Many analgesics have sedating properties that benefit patients who have sustained fractures.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol, Panadol, aspirin-free Anacin)

DOC for treatment of pain in patients with documented hypersensitivity to aspirin and NSAIDs, those with upper GI disease, or those taking oral anticoagulants.

Acetaminophen and codeine (Tylenol #3)

Drug combination indicated for treatment of mild to moderately severe pain.

Hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen (Vicodin ES)

Drug combination indicated for relief of moderately severe to severe pain.

Oxycodone and acetaminophen (Percocet)

Drug combination indicated for relief of moderately severe to severe pain. DOC for aspirin-hypersensitive patients.

Oxycodone and aspirin (Percodan)

Drug combination indicated for relief of moderately severe to severe pain.

Morphine sulfate (Duramorph, Astramorph, MS Contin)

DOC for narcotic analgesia due to its reliable and predictable effects, safety, and ease of reversibility with naloxone. Morphine sulfate administered IV may be dosed in a number of ways and commonly is titrated until desired effect obtained.

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Antibiotics

Class Summary

Empiric antimicrobial therapy must be comprehensive and should cover all likely pathogens in the context of the clinical setting.

Cephalexin (Biocef, Keflex, Keftab)

First-generation cephalosporin that inhibits bacterial replication by inhibiting bacterial cell wall synthesis. Bactericidal and effective against rapidly growing organisms forming cell walls.

Resistance occurs by alteration of penicillin-binding proteins. Effective for treatment of infections caused by streptococcal or staphylococci, including penicillinase-producing staphylococci. May use to initiate therapy when streptococcal or staphylococcal infection is suspected.

Used orally when outpatient management is indicated.

Sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim (Bactrim, Bactrim DS, Septra, Septra DS)

Inhibits bacterial growth by inhibiting synthesis of dihydrofolic acid.

Amoxicillin and clavulanate (Augmentin, Augmentin XR)

Amoxicillin inhibits bacterial cell wall synthesis by binding to penicillin-binding proteins. Addition of clavulanate inhibits beta-lactamase producing bacteria.

Good alternative antibiotic for patients allergic or intolerant to the macrolide class. Usually is well tolerated and provides good coverage to most infectious agents. Not effective against Mycoplasma and Legionella species. The half-life of oral dosage form is 1-1.3 h. Has good tissue penetration but does not enter cerebrospinal fluid.

For children > 3 months, base dosing protocol on amoxicillin content. Because of different amoxicillin/clavulanic acid ratios in 250-mg tab (250/125) vs 250-mg chewable tab (250/62.5), do not use 250-mg tab until child weighs >40 kg.

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Anxiolytics

Class Summary

Patients with painful injuries usually experience significant anxiety. Anxiolytics allow a smaller analgesic dose to achieve the same effect.

Lorazepam (Ativan)

Sedative hypnotic in benzodiazepine class that has short onset of effect and relatively long half-life. By increasing action of GABA, a major inhibitory neurotransmitter, may depress all levels of CNS, including limbic and reticular formation. Excellent for sedating patients for longer than 24-h period. Monitor patient's BP after administering dose. Adjust as necessary.

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