Intravenous  oral paracetamol for acute pain Emergency Medicine – Research Review

Intravenous oral paracetamol for acute pain Emergency Medicine – Research Review

The publication Emergency Medicine – Research Review  has released an article on  Intravenous versus oral paracetamol for acute pain in adults in the
emergency department setting.


‘The aim of this prospective, randomised, double-blind, double-dummy clinical trial was to assess whether IV paracetamol was superior to oral paracetamol for ED management of moderate to severe acute pain in conjunction with opioids. 87 adult patients were included in the analysis.

On the primary outcome measure of VAS (visual analogue scale) pain reduction at 30 minutes, both paracetamol formulations were associated with clinically significant ( ≥ 13mm) reductions in VAS from a mean baseline VAS of 67.9 mm, with no significant difference between IV (-16.0 mm) and oral (-14.6 mm) paracetamol (95% CI -11.6, 8.8; P = 0.79).

No other between-group differences, including IV opioid administration, patient satisfaction, adverse events and length of stay were observed.


This study was well designed and conducted. This answers an often asked question about oral versus intravenous analgesia. Despite the limitations of the study, as expressed in the full article, the study has merit. Statistical analysis was comprehensive and valid. Patients were well matched in the 2 arms of the study. Discussion was well related to the results and included the cost differential as well, an area often neglected.’

Reference: Emerg Med J. 2018;35(3):179-184 More information here>>

Authors: Furyk J et al.

Research Review Australia provides clinical research updates.  Covering top 10 research studies with commentary by well-known Australian experts. They are a great tool to help nurses keep up to date. Reviews are sent by email and cost nothing to subscribe. Subscribe online at or send an email to Trish (our database administrator) [email protected]” To download your copy login into your Research Review account. You can register for an account at or send an email to Trish (our database administrator) [email protected]

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