Findings from a new trial suggest that oral and intravenous (IV) paracetamol may work equally well in patients after total hip arthoplasty (THA).
The trial included 154 THA patients who received either IV or oral paracetamol as part of a comprehensive opioid-sparing multi-modal analgesia strategy. Primary outcomes were pain with physical therapy on post-operative day 1, opioid side effects and cumulative opioid use.
Although the researchers expected that IV paracetamol might provide a benefit in terms of pain management, this was not the case. In fact, the trial found there was no difference in any of the three primary outcomes. Patients in both groups had low pain scores, minimal opioid side effects and limited opioid usage. The authors noted there were also no differences in secondary outcomes such as pain over time, time to hospital discharge, satisfaction, sleep interference, cognitive dysfunction or worst pain experienced.
Presenting the finding in the Journal of Arthroplasty, the authors said “since the oral formulation is less invasive to administer and less costly,” the study supports routine use of oral paracetamol for these patients.