A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of the Analgesic Efficacy of Intravenous Acetaminophen in Ambulatory Surgery
Purpose: We investigated whether intraoperative intravenous acetaminophen has the potential to reduce pain after ambulatory surgery and reduce time to discharge from the post anaesthesia care unit and hospital.
Methods: We tested this hypothesis by conducting a prospective randomized, double-blind clinical trial in patients undergoing ambulatory surgery. A total of 145 patients were randomized to pre and postoperative placebo (50), intravenous (IV) operative and postoperative oral acetaminophen (49), and pre and postoperative oral acetaminophen (48).
Results: The primary end point; visual analogue scale mean pain intensity over 24 hours after completion of surgery, was not significantly different between the 3 groups, control group 2.0 (1.6), mean (SD), (IV) acetaminophen group 2.1 (1.9) and oral acetaminophen group 2.1 (1.6); (p=0.93). Time to fitness for discharge from the postoperative care unit (p=0.77) and time to fitness for discharge from hospital (p=0.27) also did not vary significantly between the three groups.
Conclusion: The addition of intraoperative IV acetaminophen to a standard analgesia regimen in patients undergoing ambulatory surgery did not significantly improve pain control or discharge times after surgery compared with pre and postoperative oral acetaminophen or placebo.