A comparison of oral ketorolac and hydrocodone-acetaminophen for analgesia after ambulatory surgery: Arthroscopy versus laparoscopic tubal ligation

Paul F. White, Girish P. Joshi, Randall L. Carpenter, Robert J. Fragen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


This multicenter study compared the analgesic efficacy and side effects of ketorolac and hydrocodoneacetaminophen when administered orally after ambulatory arthroscopic or laparoscopic tubal ligation procedures. After awakening from general anesthesia, 252 patients experiencing moderate or severe postoperative pain were randomly assigned to receive one of three analgesic treatments according to a placebocontrolled, double-blind protocol. Group 1 (n = 83) received oral ketorolac 10 mg every 6 h for up to 3 days, Group 2 (n = 82) received hydrocodone 7.5 mg plus acetaminophen 750 mg every 6 h for up to 3 days, and Group 3 (n = 87) received placebo capsules followed by ketorolac 10 mg every 6 h for up to 3 days. Severity of pain was recorded using a 4-point categorical score and visual analog scale (VAS) at 0.5 h and subsequently at hourly intervals for 6 h, as well as daily for up to 3 days. Pain relief was recorded using a 5-point categorical scale at the same time points. In the patients undergoing arthroscopic surgery, both ketorolac and hydromorphone-acetaminophen provided superior pain relief compared with the placebo. Although the categorical summed pain intensity difference (SPID), VAS SPID, and total pain relief scores were higher in the ketorolac group compared with the hydrocodoneacetaminophen group, the differences were not statistically significant. In the patients undergoing laparoscopic tubal ligation surgery, the three treatment groups displayed similar responses to the study medications. However, the ketorolac group scored higher in terms of overall tolerability than the hydrocodone-acetaminophen group. In conclusion, there was no difference in the efficacy between oral ketorolac and hydrocodone-acetaminophen combination in controlling pain after outpatient arthroscopic surgery procedures. Neither oral analgesic proved to be very effective after laparoscopic tubal ligation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-43
Number of pages7
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 26 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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