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A randomized controlled trial comparing acetaminophen, acetaminophen and ibuprofen, and acetaminophen and codeine for postoperative pain relief after Mohs surgery and cutaneous reconstruction.

Author(s): Sniezek PJ, Brodland DG, Zitelli JA

Affiliation(s): Mohs Surgery and Skin Cancer Center, Colorado Springs Dermatology Clinic, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80910, USA. patrick.sniezek@gmail.com

Publication date & source: 2011-07, Dermatol Surg., 37(7):1007-13. Epub 2011 May 11.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

BACKGROUND: There are no population-based data comparing analgesics after Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) and reconstruction. OBJECTIVE To compare the efficacy in pain management of three analgesic combinations. METHODS: In a randomized, double-blind, controlled study, patients undergoing MMS and reconstruction for head and neck skin cancers received 1,000 mg of acetaminophen (Ac), 1,000 mg Ac plus 400 mg ibuprofen (Ib), or 325 mg Ac plus 30 mg codeine (Co) immediately after surgery and every 4 hours for up to four doses. Patients rated their pain on a visual analog scale (VAS) 0, 2, 4, 8, and 12 hours after surgery and recorded medication-related side effects. RESULTS: The Ac+Ib group had the lowest pain scores (mean change from baseline/immeditely prior to surgery) at each postoperative recorded time interval and a significantly smaller change from baseline pain scores than the Ac+Co group at 4 hours (p=.005) and the Ac group at 8 hours (p=.02). Ac+Ib was also superior in pain control for patients with surgical areas smaller than 10 cm(2) . Complications in the Ib+Ac group were significantly lower than in the Ac+Co group but not the Ac group. CONCLUSIONS: The combination of Ac+Ib is superior to Ac alone or Ac+Co in controlling postoperative pain after MMS and cutaneous reconstruction. (c) 2011 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc.

Page last updated: 2011-12-09

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