A Meta-Analysis of the Use of Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs for Pediatric Postoperative Pain

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BACKGROUND:Opioid side effects are a great concern during the postoperative period in children. Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been shown to effectively decrease postoperative pain, but their opioid-sparing effect is still controversial. In this present meta-analysis, we investigated the postoperative opioid-sparing effect of NSAIDs in children.METHODS:A comprehensive literature search was conducted to identify clinical trials using NSAIDs and opioids as perioperative analgesic compounds in children and infants. Outcomes measured were opioid consumption, pain intensity, postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV), and urinary retention. All outcomes were studied during postanesthesia care unit (PACU) stay and the first 24 postoperative hours. Data from each trial were combined to calculate the pooled odds ratios (ORs) or standardized mean difference (SMD) and their 95% confidence interval.RESULTS:Twenty-seven randomized controlled studies were analyzed. Perioperative administration of NSAIDs decreased postoperative opioid requirement (both in the PACU and during the first 24 postoperative hours; SMD = −0.66 [−0.84, −0.48] and −0.83 [−1.11, −0.55], respectively), pain intensity in the PACU (SMD = −0.85 [−1.24, −0.47]), and PONV during the first 24 postoperative hours (OR = 0.75 [0.57–0.99]). NSAIDs did not decrease pain intensity during the first 24 postoperative hours (OR = 0.56 [0.26–1.2]) and PONV during PACU stay (OR = 1.02 [0.73–1.44]). Subgroup analysis according to the timing of NSAID administration (intraoperative versus postoperative), type of surgery, or coadministration of paracetamol did not show any influence of these factors on the studied outcomes except the reduction of pain intensity and the incidence of PONV during the first 24 postoperative hours, which were influenced by the coadministration of paracetamol and the type of surgery, respectively.CONCLUSION:This meta-analysis shows that perioperative NSAID administration reduces opioid consumption and PONV during the postoperative period in children.

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