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A randomised controlled trial of parecoxib, celecoxib and paracetamol as adjuncts to patient-controlled epidural analgesia after caesarean delivery

Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine, King Edward Memorial Hospital for Women, 374 Bagot Rd, Subiaco, WA 6008, Australia

Summary

The benefit of combining non-opioid analgesics with neuraxial opioids for analgesia after caesarean delivery has not been clearly established. Larger doses of paracetamol or cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors have not been evaluated. A randomised, double blind, double-dummy, parallel group placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted among women having elective caesarean delivery under spinal anaesthesia, followed by pethidine patient-controlled epidural analgesia. Patients received placebos (group C); intravenous parecoxib 40 mg then oral celecoxib 400 mg at 12 hours (group PC); intravenous paracetamol 2 g then oral 1 g six-hourly (group PA); or these regimens combined (group PCPA). The primary outcome was 24-hour postoperative patient-controlled epidural pethidine use and the main secondary outcome was postoperative pain. One hundred and thirty-eight women were recruited but 27 subsequently met exclusion criteria, leaving 111 who were randomised, allocated and analysed by intention-to-treat (n=23, 30, 32 and 26 in groups C, PC, PA and PCPA respectively). There were no differences between groups for pethidine consumption, based on either intention-to-treat (median 365, 365, 405 and 360 mg in groups C, PC, PA and PCPA respectively, P=0.84) or per protocol analysis (17 major violations). Dynamic pain scores did not differ between groups but requirement for, and dose of, supplementary oral tramadol was least in group PCPA (incidence 23% versus 48%, 70% and 58% in groups C, PC and PA respectively, P=0.004). The addition of regular paracetamol, cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors or both to pethidine patient-controlled epidural post-caesarean analgesia did not provide a pethidine dose-sparing effect during the first 24 hours.

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