BACKGROUND: Optimal postoperative pain management is important to ensure patient comfort and early mobilization.
METHODS: In this double-blind, placebo- and active-controlled, randomized clinical trial, we evaluated postoperative pain following knee replacement in patients receiving placebo, etoricoxib (90 or 120 mg), or ibuprofen 1800 mg daily for 7 days. Patients >=18 years of age who had pain at rest >=5 (0--10 Numerical Rating Scale [NRS]) after unilateral total knee replacement were randomly assigned to placebo (N = 98), etoricoxib 90 mg (N = 224), etoricoxib 120 mg (N = 230), or ibuprofen 1800 mg (N = 224) postoperatively. Co-primary endpoints included Average Pain Intensity Difference at Rest over Days 1--3 (0- to 10-point NRS) and Average Total Daily Dose of Morphine over Days 1--3. Pain upon movement was evaluated using Average Pain Intensity Difference upon Knee Flexion (0- to 10-point NRS). The primary objective was to demonstrate analgesic superiority for the etoricoxib doses vs. placebo; the secondary objective was to demonstrate that the analgesic effect of the etoricoxib doses was non-inferior to ibuprofen. Adverse experiences (AEs) including opioid-related AEs were evaluated.
RESULTS: The least squares (LS) mean (95% CI) differences from placebo for Pain Intensity Difference at Rest over Days 1--3 were -0.54 (-0.95, -0.14); -0.49 (-0.89, -0.08); and -0.45 (-0.85, -0.04) for etoricoxib 90 mg, etoricoxib 120 mg, and ibuprofen, respectively (p < 0.05 for etoricoxib vs. placebo). Differences in LS Geometric Mean Ratio morphine use over Days 1--3 from placebo were 0.66 (0.54, 0.82); 0.69 (0.56, 0.85); and 0.66 (0.53, 0.81) for etoricoxib 90 mg, etoricoxib 120 mg, and ibuprofen, respectively (p < 0.001 for etoricoxib vs. placebo). Differences in LS Mean Pain Intensity upon Knee Flexion were -0.37 (-0.85, 0.11); -0.46 (-0.94, 0.01); and -0.42 (-0.90, 0.06) for etoricoxib 90 mg, etoricoxib 120 mg, and ibuprofen, respectively. Opioid-related AEs occurred in 41.8%, 34.7%, 36.5%, and 36.3% of patients on placebo, etoricoxib 90 mg, etoricoxib 120 mg, and ibuprofen, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Postoperative use of etoricoxib 90 and 120 mg in patients undergoing total knee replacement is both superior to placebo and non-inferior to ibuprofen in reducing pain at rest and also reduces opioid (morphine) consumption.Clinical trial registration: NCT00820027.
Rawal, Narinder; Viscusi, Eugene R.; Peloso, Paul M; Minkowitz, Harold S; Chen, Liang; Shah, Sandhya; Mehta, Anish; Chitkara, Denesh K; Curtis, Sean P; and Papanicolaou, Dimitris A, "Evaluation of etoricoxib in patients undergoing total knee replacement surgery in a double-blind, randomized controlled trial." (2013). Department of Anesthesiology Faculty Papers. Paper 25.