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Eur J Pediatr. 2017 Feb;176(2):233-240. doi: 10.1007/s00431-016-2830-7. Epub 2016 Dec 21.

Comparative study of the efficacy and safety of paracetamol, ibuprofen, and indomethacin in closure of patent ductus arteriosus in preterm neonates.

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Pediatric Department, Tanta University Hospital, Elgeish street, Tanta, Egypt.
Pediatric Department, Tanta University Hospital, Elgeish street, Tanta, Egypt.


In this prospective study, we compared the efficacy and side effects of indomethacin, ibuprofen, and paracetamol in patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) closure in preterm neonates. Three hundred preterm neonates with hemodynamically significant PDA (hs-PDA) admitted at our neonatal intensive care unit were enrolled in the study. They were randomized into three groups. Group I (paracetamol group) received 15 mg/kg/6 h IV paracetamol infusion for 3 days. Group II (ibuprofen group) received 10 mg/kg IV ibuprofen infusion followed by 5 mg/kg/day for 2 days. Group III (indomethacin group) received 0.2 mg/kg/12 h indomethacin IV infusion for three doses. Laboratory investigations such as renal function test, liver function test, complete blood count, and blood gases were conducted in addition to echocardiographic examinations. All investigations were done before and 3 days after treatment. There was no significant difference between all groups regarding efficacy of PDA closure (P = 0.868). There was a significant increase in serum creatinine levels and serum blood urea nitrogen (BUN) in the ibuprofen and indomethacin groups (P < 0.001). There was a significant reduction in platelet count and urine output (UOP) in both ibuprofen and indomethacin groups (P < 0.001). There was a significant increase in bilirubin levels in only the ibuprofen group (P = 0.003). No significant difference of hemoglobin (HB) level or liver enzymes in all groups (P > 0.05). Ventilatory settings improved significantly in patients with successful closure of PDA than those with failed PDA closure (P < 0.001).


Paracetamol is as effective as indomethacin and ibuprofen in closure of PDA in preterm neonates and has less side effects mainly on renal function, platelet count, and GIT bleeding. What is Known: • Hemodynamically significant patent ductus arteriosus has many complications for preterm and low birth weight neonates and better to be closed. Many drugs were used for medical closure of PDA e.g. indomethacin, ibuprofen and recently paracetamol. Many studies compare safety and efficacy of paracetamol with either indomethacin or ibuprofen. What is New: • It is the first large study that compares the efficacy and side effects of the three drugs in one study.


Ibuprofen; Indomethacin; PDA closure; Paracetamol; Preterm neonate

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