European journal of pain (London, England)

Preoperative administration of etoricoxib in patients undergoing hip replacement causes inhibition of inflammatory mediators and pain relief.

PMID 22337568


Administering cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors preoperatively appears attractive since these drugs reduce post-operative pain, but do not increase the risk of post-operative bleeds, asthmatic attacks and stress-related gastrointestinal ulcers. In a former investigation, we could show that post-operative administration of etoricoxib reduces prostaglandin production in wound fluid, but the onset of action is variable due to delayed post-operative absorption. In this study, we investigated the preoperative administration of etoricoxib in patients undergoing hip replacement. They received 120 mg etoricoxib or placebo 2 h before surgery and 1 day after in a double-blinded, randomized, parallel group design. A total of 11 patients were randomized (placebo n = 5; verum n = 6). We found high and constant levels of the drug in blood, central nervous system and wound fluid already at the end of surgery (t(max) < 2 h). This was accompanied by inhibition of prostaglandin production in the wound tissue (treatment p < 0.05), suppression of interleukin 6 increase in plasma (treatment p < 0.01), and - despite existing standard pain relief procedures - higher satisfaction with analgesics (time vs. treatment p < 0.05) and less demand for opioids (treatment p < 0.01) and intrathecal bupivacaine (treatment p = 0.05) administration. Administration of etoricoxib 2 h before surgery allows for an effective drug concentration in critical tissues, a reduction of the production of pro-inflammatory mediators and for better pain relief.

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Etoricoxib, VETRANAL®, analytical standard