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Rofecoxib to Prevent Pain After Third Molar (Wisdom Tooth) Extraction

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00026819
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : November 15, 2001
Last Update Posted : March 4, 2008
Information provided by:
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)

Brief Summary:

This study will evaluate the ability of a new non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) called rofecoxib to prevent pain following third molar (wisdom tooth) extraction. The Food and Drug Administration approved rofecoxib in 1999 to treat the symptoms of arthritis, menstrual cramps, and pain.

Healthy normal volunteers between 16 and 35 years of age in general good health who require third molar (wisdom tooth) extraction may be eligible for this study. Candidates will be screened with a medical history and oral examination, including dental x-rays as needed to confirm the need for third molar removal.

Participants will have all four wisdom teeth extracted, and a biopsy (removal of a small piece of tissue) will be taken from the inside of the cheek around the area behind the lower wisdom tooth. On the morning of surgery, patients will be given a dose of either the standard anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen (Advil, Nuprin, Motrin), or rofecoxib, or a placebo (a pill with no active ingredient). Before surgery, they will be given a local anesthetic (lidocaine) in the mouth and a sedative (midazolam) through an arm vein.

After the surgery, patients will remain in the clinic for up to 4 hours to monitor pain and the effects of the drug. Patients will complete pain questionnaires. Patients whose pain is unrelieved an hour after surgery may request and receive morphine intravenously (through a vein). After 4 hours, patients will be discharged with additional pain medicines (Tylenol with codeine and the study drug) and instructions for their use. They will also be given a pain diary to record pain ratings and medications taken at home. A clinic staff member will telephone patients at home the morning after surgery to ensure they are rating their pain intensity at the proper time and are taking their medications as instructed.

Patients will return to the clinic 48 hours after surgery with the pain diary and pain relievers. At this visit, another biopsy will be taken under local anesthetic.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Pain Drug: Rofecoxib Phase 2

Detailed Description:

Pain and inflammation are predictable sequelae following tissue injury, such as surgery. Conventional treatment for intraoperative and postoperative control of pain includes local anesthetic administered preoperatively and analgesics administered postoperatively. Disadvantages of these approaches include pain during the interval when the effect of local anesthesia dissipates and the postoperatively administered analgesic takes effect and adverse effects of opioid-containing analgesics in ambulatory patients. Research over the past two decades has demonstrated that administering nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) preoperatively significantly reduces the intensity and the duration of postoperative pain up to eight hours (Dionne et al., 1978 and Jackson et al., 1989). Parallel clinical investigations suggest that the pre-emptive treatment with a long-acting local anesthetic or an NMDA-antagonist reduces pain at 24 to 72 hours post-surgery (Gordon et al., 1997; Yamamoto et al., 1993; Gordon et al., 1999). This proposed clinical trial will use the oral surgery model to assess the therapeutic efficacy of pre-emptive and preventive treatment with a potent selective COX-2 inhibitor, rofecoxib (Vioxx® (Registered Trademark)), given prior to and following third molar extractions to reduce postoperative pain at 24 and 48 hours post-surgery.

This study is a double-blind, randomized control trial with parallel groups using placebo, ibuprofen, or rofecoxib. Rofecoxib 50 mg will be administered PO 90 minutes before surgery in the Clinical Center at NIH and another 50 mg will be self-administered 24 hours later by the subjects at their homes. This regimen is predicted to suppress the onset and intensity of post-operative dental pain to a greater extent than placebo or a non-selective COX-1/COX-2 inhibitor (ibuprofen). The analgesic effect of the drugs will be estimated by hourly observations over the first four hours after surgery using two different measures of pain intensity, the category scale and a visual analog scale (VAS). It is hypothesized that the pre-emptive administration of a selective COX-2 inhibitor, rofecoxib will inhibit the development of central and peripheral sensitization following tissue injury which manifests as hyperalgesia at later time points.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Enrollment : 150 participants
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Pre-Emptive Analgesic Effects of a Selective COX-2 Inhibitor (Rofecoxib) in the Oral Surgery Model
Study Start Date : November 2001
Study Completion Date : November 2003

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Older Adult
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


Male or female volunteers referred for third molar extraction willing to undergo 3 visits: 1 screening visit, 1 surgical appointment, and 1 follow-up research-related appointment.

Between the ages of 16 to 35 years (based upon eruption patterns and age-related complications associated with surgical extraction of third molars)

In general good health- American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) status I or II (healthy subjects based upon criteria for safe administration of out-patient conscious sedation)

Willing to undergo observation period for four hours post-operatively

Willing to complete a 100 mm visual analog scale and a category scale every hour for the first 4 post-operative hours, and again at 24 and 48 hours

Willing to have a preoperative biopsy on the day of surgery and a postoperative biopsy at 48 hours

Willing to return 48 hours to return completed pain diaries and for the postoperative biopsy

Sum total of the assessment of surgical difficulty ratings (Screening visit) must be between 8 to 14 in order to evaluate subjects experiencing similar pain levels.


Allergy to aspirin or NSAIDS

Pregnant or lactating females

History of peptic ulcers and GI bleeding

Chronic use of medications confounding the assessment of the inflammatory response or analgesia ( antihistamines, NSAIDS, steroids, antidepressants, sulfa drugs)

Presence of a clinical signs suggestive of infection or inflammation

Unusual surgical difficulty

Surgical difficulty assessment rating less than 8 or greater than 14

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00026819

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United States, Maryland
National Institute of Dental And Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Layout table for additonal information Identifier: NCT00026819    
Other Study ID Numbers: 020046
First Posted: November 15, 2001    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: March 4, 2008
Last Verified: November 2003
Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Acute Pain Model
Central Sensitization
Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Third Molar
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors
Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors
Enzyme Inhibitors
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
Sensory System Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Anti-Inflammatory Agents
Antirheumatic Agents