Women get greater pain relief than men

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 09 November 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1168

Sex may become a factor influencing choice of pain relieving drugs as new research shows that women and men differ greatly in their response to certain analgesics.

US researchers compared the pain relief achieved by two kappa-opioids, nalbuphine and butorphanol, after extraction of wisdom teeth in men and women in their early 20s (Nature Medicine 1996;2:1248-50).

“Both drugs gave markedly greater pain relief in women than in men, even though women reported higher levels of pain initially,” said Jon Levine, professor of medicine and oral surgery …

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