Single dose intravenous propacetamol or intravenous paracetamol for postoperative pain.Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Oct 05CD
Paracetamol (acetaminophen) is the most commonly prescribed analgesic for the treatment of acute pain. It may be administered orally or intravenously. The efficacy and safety of intravenous (IV) formulations of paracetamol, IV paracetamol and IV propacetamol, compared with placebo and other analgesics, is unclear.
To assess the efficacy and safety of IV formulations of paracetamol for treatment of postoperative pain in both adults and children.
We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2010, Issue 2), MEDLINE (1950 to May 2010), EMBASE (1980 to 2010, Week 18), LILACS (1992 to May 2010) and reference lists of retrieved articles.
Randomized, double-blind, placebo- or active-controlled single dose clinical trials of IV propacetamol or IV paracetamol for acute postoperative pain in adults or children.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS
Two review authors independently assessed the risk of bias and extracted data. We contacted study authors for additional information. We collected adverse event information from the studies.
Thirty-six studies (3896 participants) were included. Thirty-seven percent of participants receiving IV propacetamol/paracetamol experienced at least 50% pain relief over four hours compared with 16% of those receiving placebo (number needed to treat to benefit (NNT = 4.0; 95% confidence interval 3.5 to 4.8). The proportion of participants in IV propacetamol/paracetamol groups experiencing at least 50% pain relief diminished over six hours, as reflected in a higher NNT of 5.3 (4.2 to 6.7). Participants receiving IV propacetamol/paracetamol required 30% less opioid over four hours than those receiving placebo. However, this did not translate to a reduction in opioid-induced adverse events.Meta-analysis of efficacy comparisons between IV propacetamol/paracetamol and active comparators (opioids or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs)) were either not statistically significant, not clinically significant, or both.Adverse events occurred at similar rates with IV propacetamol or IV paracetamol and placebo. However, pain on infusion occurred more frequently in those receiving IV propacetamol versus placebo (23% versus 1%).Meta-analysis did not demonstrate statistically significant differences between IV propacetamol/paracetamol and active comparators for any adverse event except a reduction in the rate of hypotension versus NSAIDs and a reduction in the rate of gastrointestinal disorders versus opioids.