Does preoperative rofecoxib (Vioxx) decrease postoperative pain with laparoscopic cholecystectomy?

Abstract

BACKGROUND A prospective, randomized, double-blinded clinical trial was designed to study the effects of preemptive rofecoxib (Vioxx) analgesia in patients undergoing elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy. METHODS One hundred-twenty patients were enrolled in the study over a 21-month period, and 116 completed the study. One half of the patients received 50 mg rofecoxib preoperatively and the other half, placebo. Both groups were demographically similar. Medical information, patient and nursing assessments, and surgical data were evaluated. RESULTS A significant reduction in requirements for postoperative narcotic analgesic dosing was noted in the rofecoxib group. In addition, patients receiving rofecoxib reported significantly less nausea and improvement in their activity level when compared with the control group. No complications were encountered with the preoperative use of rofecoxib. CONCLUSIONS We conclude that in patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy, preoperative administration of rofecoxib in selected patients may facilitate postoperative recovery and decrease postoperative narcotic requirements.

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