Pre-emptive paracetamol reduces intra-operative opioid use in patients undergoing day-case oncologic breast surgery




pre-emptive analgesia, opioid-sparing, intra-operative opioids, pain, breast surgery


Minimization of intra-operative opioid use is an area of ongoing research interest with several potential benefits to the patient. Pre-emptive analgesia, defined as the administration of an analgesic before surgery to prevent establishment of central sensitization of pain, is one avenue that has been explored to achieve this. A retrospective observational study was undertaken to examine the effect of pre-emptive paracetamol on intra-operative opioid requirements. The medical and operative data of 156 patients who underwent day-case wide local excision and sentinel lymph node biopsy with and without regional block surgery at our center between October 2019 and May 2022 was carried out. Data were collected on demographics, total intra-operative and immediate post-operative opioid consumption. 57 patients did not receive pre-emptive paracetamol while 90 did. Baseline characteristics were similar. Our results showed a statistically significant reduction in morphine (p <0.029) and remifentanil (p <0.007) consumption in patients who received a regional block and pre-emptive paracetamol. Those who did not receive a regional block and were given pre-emptive paracetamol had a decrease in OxyNorm (p <0.022) requirements. A combination of general anesthesia (GA), regional block and pre-emptive paracetamol reduced intra-operative consumption of Fentanyl, OxyNorm, diclofenac, dexketoprofen, and clonidine (P <0.001) when compared to just GA alone. Use of pre-emptive paracetamol in reduction of intra-operative opioid requirements showed promising results but larger studies may strengthen the evidence for this association. A multimodal analgesic approach that utilizes pre-emptive paracetamol can be a viable method to decrease intra-operative of analgesic requirements.

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How to Cite

Alsaadi, D., Low, L., Ting, J., Craughwell, M., McDonnell, J., Lowery, A., & Sweeney, K. (2024). Pre-emptive paracetamol reduces intra-operative opioid use in patients undergoing day-case oncologic breast surgery. EXCLI Journal, 23, 356–363.



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