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Minerva Anestesiol. 2001 Sep;67(9):641-6.

Ketorolac vs tramadol in the treatment of postoperative pain during maxillofacial surgery.

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Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Bellaria Hospital, Bologna, Italy.



This study aims to assess the best postoperative analgesia during maxillofacial surgery by using small doses of ketorolac or tramadol or their association and evaluates the presence of adverse effects due to NSAID or opioid use.


After their informed consent, 51 patients ASA I and II undergoing major maxillofacial surgery, were randomised in three groups and the following protocol was used: group K received ketorolac (30 mg i.v.) at the time of skin closure and repeated after 8 hrs and 16 hrs from the end of the operation. Group T received tramadol (100 mg i.v.) in the same condition; and group KT received first tramadol (100 mg i.v.) during surgery and then ketorolac (30 mg) was given in the administrations that followed. Meperidine 50 mg was used in case of unsatisfactory analgesia. Pain was evaluated using pain intensity scores 2, 4, 6, 12 and 24 hours from the end of the operation. Data was analysed using Anova and c2 test.


The groups were comparable with regard to age, weight, duration of surgery. Very good postoperative analgesia was recorded in three groups. There is no difference statistically between K, T and KT groups in the pain scores measured. Only a low number of patients required opioids administration to achieve adequate analgesia. The patients were considered to have achieved excellent analgesia in 64.8% in T group, in 41.2% of the K group and in 58.8% of the KT group. There were no cases of insufficient analgesia. We did not find a significant difference considering BP, HR, respiratory depression in the post-operative period. Vomiting was registered in 41.2% of this T group vs 11.2% of the K group and in 35.5% of the KT group.


Ketorolac and Tramadol produced comparable, effective and low cost postoperative analgesia during maxillofacial surgery. There are only statistically significant differences considering side effects.

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