Comparison of rofecoxib and oxycodone plus acetaminophen in the treatment of acute pain: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in patients with moderate to severe postoperative pain in the third molar extraction model.
Opiates, acetaminophen, nonselective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and cyclooxygenase-2-selective inhibitors such as rofecoxib are used in the treatment of acute pain because of their anti-inflammatory and/or analgesic properties. Rofecoxib has demonstrated an improved gastrointestinal safety profile compared with nonselective NSAIDs.
The aim of this study was to compare the analgesic efficacy and tolerability profile of rofecoxib 50 mg with those of the centrally acting, nonsalicylate, opiate/nonopiate analgesic combination oxycodone/acetominophen 5/325 in patients with pain after dental surgery.
In this randomized, double-blind, placebo- and active comparator-controlled study, patients experiencing moderate to severe postoperative pain after extraction of > or =2 third molars (including > or =1 mandibular impaction) received a single oral dose of rofecoxib 50 mg, oxycodone/acetaminophen 5/325 mg, or placebo. End points included total pain relief over 6 hours (TOPAR6, the primary end point) and 4 hours (TOPAR4), patient's global assessment of treatment at 6 hours (GLOBAL6) and 24 hours (GLOBAL24), summed pain intensity difference over 6 hours (SPID6), onset of analgesic effect (time to perceptible/meaningful pain relief, using a 2-stopwatch method), peak pain relief (PEAKPR), peak pain intensity difference (PEAKPID), and duration of analgesic effect (time to use of rescue analgesia).
Two hundred twelve patients (63% female, 37% male; 76% white, 24% other; mean [SD] age, 20.9 [4.4] years; age range, 16-41 years) were enrolled in the study and received a single oral dose of rofecoxib 50 mg (n = 90), oxycodone/acetaminophen 5/325 mg (n = 91), or placebo (n = 31). The analgesic effect of rofecoxib was significantly greater than that of oxycodone/acetaminophen at P < 0.001 for TOPAR6, TOPAR4, GLOBAL6, GLOBAL24, and SPID6; at P < 0.010 for PEAKPR and PEAKPID; and at P < 0.001 for median time to use of rescue analgesia. Significantly fewer patients in the rofecoxib group (72.2%) took rescue analgesia within 24 hours postdose compared with the oxycodone/acetaminophen group (94.5%; P < 0.001) and the placebo group (96.8%; P < 0.02). Both active treatments were similar with respect to onset of analgesic effect. Both were generally well tolerated; the overall incidence of adverse experiences in the rofecoxib, oxycodone/acetaminophen, and placebo groups was 51.1%, 64.8%, and 48.4%, respectively. Rofecoxib was associated with a significantly lower incidence of nausea (18.9% vs 39.6%; P < 0.001) and vomiting (6.7% vs 23.1%; P < 0.001) compared with oxycodone/acetaminophen.
In study patients with moderate to severe pain after dental surgery, rofecoxib 50 mg had a greater analgesic effect than oxycodone/acetaminophen 5/325 mg and was associated with less nausea and vomiting.
Merck Research Laboratories, BLA-33, Bluebell, PA 19422, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Randomized Controlled Trial