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Intravenous parecoxib sodium as an analgesic alternative to morphine in acute trauma pain in the emergency department

Kamarul Aryffin Baharuddin1*, Nik Hisamuddin NA Rahman1, Shaik Farid Abdull Wahab1, Nurkhairulnizam A Halim2 and Rashidi Ahmad3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Health Campus, 16150 Kelantan, Malaysia

2 Department of Emergency Medicine, Hospital Tuanku Fauziah, 01000 Perlis, Malaysia

3 Department of Emergency Medicine, University Malaya Medical Centre, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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International Journal of Emergency Medicine 2014, 7:2  doi:10.1186/1865-1380-7-2

Published: 3 January 2014



Parecoxib sodium is the first parenteral COX-2 inhibitor used for pain management licensed for postoperative pain. However, no study has assessed the usage of parecoxib for acute traumatic pain in the emergency department (ED). The objective of this study was to investigate a potential alternative analgesic agent in the ED by determining the mean reduction of pain score between acute traumatic pain patients who were administered with intravenous (IV) parecoxib sodium versus IV morphine sulfate. The onset of perceptible analgesic effect and side effects were also evaluated.


A randomized, double-blinded study comparing IV parecoxib 40 mg versus IV morphine at 0.10 mg/kg was conducted in adult patients presented with acute traumatic pain with numeric rating scale (NRS) of 6 or more within 6 hours of injury. Patients were randomized using a computer-generated randomization plan. Drug preparation and dispensing were performed by a pharmacist. Periodic assessment of blood pressure, pulse rate, oxygen saturation, and NRS were taken at 0, 5, 15, and 30 minute intervals after the administration of the study drug. The primary outcome was the reduction of NRS. Side effect and drug evaluation was conducted within 30 minutes of drug administration.


There was no statistically significant difference in the reduction of mean NRS between patients in the IV parecoxib group or IV morphine group (Pā€‰=ā€‰0.095). The mean NRS for patients treated with IV morphine were 7.1 at 0 minutes, 4.5 at 5 minutes, 3.1 at 15 minutes, and 2.0 at 30 minutes. Whereas mean NRS for patients who received IV parecoxib were 7.8 at 0 minutes, 5.7 at 5 minutes, 4.7 at 15 minutes, and 3.9 at 30 minutes. The onset of perceptible analgesic effects could be seen as early as 5 minutes. Dizziness was experienced in 42.9% of patients who received IV morphine compared to none in the parecoxib group.


There was non-significant trend toward superiority of IV morphine over IV parecoxib. Looking at its effectiveness and the lack of opioid-related side-effects, the usage of IV parecoxib sodium may be extended further to a variety of cases in the ED.