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A prospective, open, single blind, randomized study comparing four analgesics in the treatment of peripheral injury in the emergency department.

Author(s): Hoogewijs J, Diltoer MW, Hubloue I, Spapen HD, Camu F, Corne L, Huyghens LP

Affiliation(s): Critical Care Department, Akademisch Ziekenhuis Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.

Publication date & source: 2000-06, Eur J Emerg Med., 7(2):119-23.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

The efficacy of four analgesics, distinct concerning analgesic power and mechanism of action, was evaluated for pain relief in patients suffering from single peripheral injury. Patients were randomly allocated to receive either propacetamol (the pro-drug of paracetamol) 20 mg/kg i.v., piritramide 0.25 mg/kg i.m., tramadol 1 mg/kg i.v. or diclofenac 1 mg/kg i.v. Pain scores were measured by the patient using the visual analogue scale (VAS) and by an observer using a 4-point verbal rating scale (VRS). Cardiorespiratory variables and side effects were recorded. One hundred and sixty patients were included, 131 completed the study. Groups matched for demography and baseline pain levels. In general pain scores decreased with time. No significant differences were found between groups at any particular time point. VAS scores were significantly (p < 0.02) lower than baseline scores 30 minutes after injection in all treatment groups except for the piritramide group where significance (p < 0.01) was reached after 60 minutes. VRS score analysis showed a similar trend although significances differed. In the piritramide group significantly more side effects were noted than in the other groups (p < 0.05). We conclude that intravenous propacetamol, tramadol and diclofenac are equally efficacious for emergency analgesic treatment of single peripheral trauma.

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