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Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2007 Oct;20(5):440-50.

Update on the role of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and coxibs in the management of acute pain.

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  • 1Acute Pain Service, Department of Anesthesiology, Baystate Medical Center, 759 Chestnut Street, Springfield, MA 01199, USA.



Although NSAIDs have been shown to reduce postoperative analgesics, their ability to reduce opioid-related adverse effects and improve functional outcomes is questioned. Further, perioperative NSAID use may contribute to cardiovascular toxicity and impaired bone healing. This review highlights recent advances in our understanding of the role perioperative NSAIDs have on modulating nociception, their benefits when utilized as components of a multimodal analgesic regimen, and potential deleterious cardiovascular and osteogenic effects.


Recent research indicates that, in addition to peripheral blockade of prostaglandin synthesis, central inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 may play an important role in modulating nociception. Although nonspecific NSAIDs provide analgesic efficacy similar to coxibs, their use has been limited in the perioperative setting because of platelet dysfunction and gastrointestinal toxicity. Coxibs may be a safer alternative in that setting. Both coxibs and traditional NSAIDs may contribute to a dose-dependent increase in cardiovascular toxicity and impaired osteogenesis. When used short term at the lowest effective dose, however, NSAIDs may provide for analgesic benefit without significant toxicity.


When utilized as a component of a multimodal analgesic regimen for acute pain, short-term NSAID administration reduces opioid-related side effects and may contribute to improved functional outcomes without significant adverse effects.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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