COX 2 selectivity of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and perioperative blood loss in hip surgery. A randomized comparison of indomethacin and meloxicam

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In this prospective randomized study we tested the hypothesis that use of more cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX 2)-selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can reduce perioperative blood loss compared with non-selective NSAIDs.


Data from 200 patients who underwent total hip replacement were studied. Two NSAIDs were compared: indomethacin 50 mg (n = 82) and meloxicam 15 mg (n = 86). Both NSAIDs were given orally 1 h before surgery.


The two groups were not different with respect to age, gender, ASA class or duration of surgery. When indomethacin was used preoperatively, intraoperative blood loss was 623 ± 243 mL (mean ± SD) and postoperative blood loss 410 ± 340 mL. After meloxicam, these values were 524 ± 304 mL and 358 ± 272 mL, respectively. Total perioperative blood loss after meloxicam was 17% (P < 0.05) less than that observed after indomethacin.


Perioperative blood loss after meloxicam is less than after indomethacin. These in vivo findings are consistent with in vitro results using selective COX 2 NSAIDs.

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