Use of Ketorolac after Lower Abdominal Surgery Effect on Analgesic Requirement and Surgical Outcome

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Abstract

Background

Ketorolac is a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory agent with opioid-sparing properties. The effect of ketorolac on postoperative opioid analgesic requirement and surgical outcome was evaluated in 198 women after abdominal hysterectomy procedures using a double-blind protocol design.

Methods

Patients were randomly assigned to receive either 60 mg intravenous (2 ml) ketorolac, followed by 30 mg intravenously (in saline 20 ml) over 30 min every 6 h, or 2 ml intravenous saline, followed by saline 20 ml intravenously over 30 min every 6 h, for up to 72 h. The postoperative opioid analgesic requirement was assessed using a patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) device to self administer either morphine or meperidine. The authors also evaluated pain, sedation (or drowsiness), fatigue, quality of sleep, and postoperative side effects at 2–8-h intervals for up to 72 h after surgery.

Results

Ketorolac decreased the PCA opioid usage on the night of operation and during the first postoperative day. Ketorolac also improved the quality of sleep during the first night after surgery. Although ketorolac- (vs. saline-) treated patients had a significantly shorter time to passage of bowel gas (50 ± 24 h vs. 61 ± 25 h), there were no clinically significant differences in the times to oral intake, unassisted ambulation, or hospital discharge. There were also no differences in the overall incidence of side effects in the ketorolac- (vs. saline-) treated patients. However, the use of ketorolac with opioid PCA was associated with a reduced need for antiemetic therapy on the postsurgical ward.

Conclusions

The authors conclude that the opioid-sparing effects of ketorolac contributed few clinically significant advantages after abdominal hysterectomy procedures.

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