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William S. Van Bergen, M.D.; William C. North, M.D., Ph.D.; Mary Karp, M.D.
JAMA. 1960;172(13):1372-1375. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020130030008.
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An investigation to determine the comparative value of pain-relieving drugs conducted on 94 private patients who had undergone orthopedic surgery was started 48 hours postoperatively and continued for three days. Four substances were used: dextro propoxyphene hydrochloride, 1 00 mg.; codeine phosphate, 65 mg.; meperidine hydrochloride, 100 mg.; and placebo. Capsules were administered at four-hour intervals. Intensity of pain was scored and interrogation of patients was done by a physician. The drugs were found to be significantly more pain-relieving than was the placebo. The analgesic effectiveness of the drugs in the doses used was indistinguishable. The over-all analgesic effectiveness of drugs and placebo- was similar to that found by other workers. A separate study on placebo effect showed that the patients discriminated more accurately between analgesics and placebos on the first day of study than on subsequent days.


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