We studied 80 children, aged 5-13 yr, who received PCA with morphine after appendicectomy using a standardized tracheal general anaesthetic. All patients received morphine 0.1 mg kg-1 before surgical incision and all had wound infiltration with bupivacaine 1 mg kg-1 at the end of surgery. Patients were allocated randomly to receive postoperative analgesia with PCA morphine alone, morphine plus diclofenac 1 mg kg-1, morphine plus paracetamol 15-20 mg kg-1 or morphine plus a combination of both diclofenac and paracetamol. Cumulative morphine consumption was significantly reduced by concurrent administration of diclofenac but no additive effect of paracetamol was demonstrable with the doses used in the study. Analgesia, as assessed by movement pain scoring, was significantly improved by the addition of diclofenac despite lower morphine consumption. Adverse effects and duration of PCA were comparable in the four groups.