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Propacetamol and diclofenac alone and in combination for analgesia after elective tonsillectomy

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Diclofenac and paracetamol have different mechanisms and sites of action. Therefore, we tested if their combination is more effective for analgesia after tonsillectomy than either drug alone with respect to rescue analgesic consumption and visual analog scale values. Methods: 

The analgesic effects of intravenously administered propacetamol (injectable pro-drug of paracetamol) and diclofenac or a combination on postoperative pain were compared in 71 adult elective tonsillectomy patients in a randomized, double-blind study. After induction of anesthesia the patients received monotherapy with 2 g propacetamol (n = 25) or 75 mg diclofenac (n = 25), or a combined treatment with 2 g propacetamol and 75 mg diclofenac (n = 21) in physiologic saline as an infusion. Postoperatively the propacetamol dosage was repeated twice and diclofenac once on the ward. Oxycodone (0.03 mg kg−1) was used as a rescue analgesic by patient-controlled analgesia. Results: 

On average the patients needed oxycodone 15.3, 13.2 and 10.6 times in the propacetamol, diclofenac and combination groups, respectively (NS). A verbal rating scale and a visual analog scale were employed for assessing post-tonsillectomy pain, nausea and patient satisfaction in all groups. No statistically significant differences were found between the groups. Twelve of the 25 (48%) patients having received propacetamol complained of pain at the cannulation site. Conclusion: 

Combined treatment with propacetamol and diclofenac with the dosages used provided clinically only a minor advantage over monotherapy with propacetamol or diclofenac with respect to postoperative analgesia or the incidence of side-effects in adult tonsillectomy patients.
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Keywords: NSAIDS; diclofenac; pain; postoperative; propacetamol; tonsillectomy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, ENT-Hospital, Helsinki University Central Hospital, 2: Research Institute of Military Medicine, and 3: Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Central Military Hospital, Helsinki, Finland

Publication date: 2004-10-01

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