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Singapore Med J. 2005 Aug;46(8):397-400.

Analgesic efficacy of pre-operative etoricoxib for termination of pregnancy in an ambulatory centre.

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Department of Anaesthesia, KK Women's and Children's Hospital, 100 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 229899.



Etoricoxib is a second generation cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor with a rapid-onset time and a long duration of action. It is ideal for providing pre-emptive analgesia for ambulatory surgeries. We hypothesised that pre-operative etoricoxib can decrease the use of fentanyl post-operatively, when compared with placebo in patients undergoing termination of pregnancy. We also compared their pain scores, time to discharge, side effects and satisfaction with analgesia post-operatively.


After approval by the hospital research ethics committee and receipt of informed written consent, we recruited 40 American Society of Anesthesiologists Physical Status Classification I and II patients scheduled for elective first trimester termination of pregnancy. Patients were randomly allocated to receive either oral etoricoxib 120 mg (Group E, n=20) or placebo tablet (Group P, n=20) pre-operatively. A blinded observer evaluated the post-operative pain scores, need for supplementary analgesia, side effects and satisfaction scores. Sample size was calculated (power of 0.8 and alpha=0.05) to detect a 20 percent difference in fentanyl usage. Amount of fentanyl used, pain scores and satisfaction scores were analysed using non-parametric tests. The incidence of side effects was analysed using chi-squared test.


Etoricoxib 120 mg significantly decreased the amount of fentanyl required after termination of pregnancy compared to placebo (0 microg/patient, interquartile range [IQR] 0-25 versus 50 microg/patient, IQR 0-50, p-value is less than 0.05). Patients who received etoricoxib 120 mg also had significantly lower pain scores than the placebo group at time of discharge (8 +/- 11 versus 1 +/- 3, p-value is less than 0.05) and at six hours post operation (8 +/- 12 versus 0 +/- 0, p-value is less than 0.01). There was no difference in their side effects, and time to discharge and overall satisfaction were similar in both groups.


Pre-operative administration of oral etoricoxib 120 mg decreased the use of fentanyl and pain scores after minor gynaecological surgery without significant side effects.

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