Dexketoprofen has been shown to provide efficient analgesia and an opioid-sparing effect after orthopedic surgery. In this dose-finding study, we evaluated the analgesic efficacy and opioid-sparing effect of dexketoprofen administered intravenously (i.v.) after laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LCC).Methods
Twenty-four patients undergoing LCC were randomized to receive dexketoprofen 10 or 50 mg i.v. 15 min before the end of the surgery. Subjects were provided with 0.2 mg/kg of oxycodone at anesthesia induction. In the recovery room, pain was assessed with an 11-point numerical rating scale (NRS; score of 0 = no pain, score of 10 = most severe pain) every 10 min. When the NRS score was ≥3/10 at rest or ≥5/10 at wound compression, a plasma sample was taken for analysis of oxycodone [to determine the minimum effective concentration (MEC)], its metabolites, and dexketoprofen. After that, subjects were titrated with oxycodone 2 or 3 mg i.v. every 10 min until the NRS score was <3/10 at rest and <5/10 at wound compression. At this point, a second plasma sample was taken for analysis of oxycodone [minimum effective analgesic concentration (MEAC)], its metabolites, and dexketoprofen.Results
At the onset of pain, the plasma oxycodone concentrations (MEC) were similar in the two groups: median 60 ng/mL (range 37-73) in the 10 mg group and median 52 ng/mL (range 24-79) in the 50 mg group. At the time of pain relief, the MEACs were 98 ng/mL (range 59-150) in the 10 mg group and 80 ng/mL (range 45-128) in the 50 mg group. The total doses of oxycodone needed to achieve pain relief were similar: 0.11 mg/kg (range 0-0.33) in the 10 mg group and 0.08 mg/kg (range 0-0.24) in the 50 mg group. Eleven subjects developed mild desaturation or a decreased respiratory rate after oxycodone titration.Conclusion
In the present double-blinded, randomized clinical trial, the need for a rescue opioid analgesic, oxycodone, was similar with the two dose levels of dexketoprofen—10 and 50 mg i.v.—after LCC.