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Ketorolac Versus Ibuprofen to Treat Painful Episodes of Sickle Cell Disease

This study has been terminated.
(Poor accrual)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Identifier:
First received: June 21, 2005
Last updated: January 18, 2013
Last verified: January 2013
The purpose of this study is to compare ketorolac, a potent, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), with ibuprofen, a commonly used NSAID, for the treatment of the painful crisis of sickle cell disease (SCD).

Condition Intervention Phase
Hematologic Diseases
Anemia, Sickle Cell
Drug: Intravenous Ketorolac
Drug: Ibuprofen
Phase 4

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Ketorolac Versus Ibuprofen for the Painful Crisis of Sickle Cell Disease - Southwestern Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Amount of time to a 50% reduction in reported pain intensity [ Time Frame: Measured by pain intensity scales obtained every 4 hours during hospitalization ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Duration of hospitalization [ Time Frame: Measured during hospitalization ]
  • Amount of opioid use [ Time Frame: Measured during hospitalization ]
  • Occurrence of azotemia [ Time Frame: Measured during hospitalization ]
  • Fluid retention [ Time Frame: Measured during hospitalization ]
  • Hematuria [ Time Frame: Measured during hospitalization ]
  • Dyspepsia [ Time Frame: Measured during hospitalization ]
  • Gastrointestinal ulceration [ Time Frame: Measured during hospitalization ]
  • Bleeding [ Time Frame: Measured during hospitalization ]

Enrollment: 12
Study Start Date: January 2005
Study Completion Date: December 2008
Primary Completion Date: August 2008 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: 1
Intravenous ketorolac and oral placebo
Drug: Intravenous Ketorolac
Intravenous ketorolac
Other Name: Toradol
Active Comparator: 2
Intravenous placebo and oral ibuprofen
Drug: Ibuprofen
Ibuprofen, taken orally
Other Name: Motrin, Advil

Detailed Description:


SCD is a common disorder among African Americans and other minority groups. It is characterized by chronic anemia and episodic vaso-occlusive crises. The most common of these crises is the painful crisis. Current treatment of the painful crisis includes rest, hydration, and analgesic medication. Morphine is the most commonly prescribed analgesic medication for moderate to severe painful episodes, but there are several side effects associated with its use, including somnolence, respiratory depression, constipation, dysphoria, and pruritus. Other analgesic medications, including NSAIDs, may improve pain control and decrease the need for morphine and other opioid drugs; however, more research is needed to confirm the benefits in individuals with SCD.


This study will enroll 120 children who will receive standard opioid and supportive therapy. In addition to this care, participants will be randomly assigned to receive one of the following: 1) intravenous ketorolac and oral placebo; or 2) intravenous placebo and oral ibuprofen. Outcome assessments will include the duration of hospitalization for opioid therapy; the degree of pain intensity and relief determined by validated pain scales; and the utilization of opioid medications during hospitalization. All participants will be monitored for potential adverse effects of the study medications by laboratory measurements and clinical assessments. Additionally, participants will self-report pain levels using the Oucher pain scale. Participants will be monitored for the development of adverse events, including gastrointestinal symptoms and deterioration of kidney function, as determined by daily kidney function tests including BUN, creatinine, and hematuria.


Ages Eligible for Study:   6 Years to 18 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Confirmed diagnosis of any form of SCD, including sickle cell anemia, sickle-hemoglobin C disease, and sickle-ß˖ or ß°-thalassemia
  • Currently experiencing an acute painful episode (vaso-occlusive crisis), defined as acute pain in the extremities, back, abdomen, or chest that has lasted at least 4 hours and is presumed to be due to SCD, with no other identified cause
  • Onset of severe pain in its current location(s) must have occurred within 72 hours of study entry
  • Intensity of pain must be great enough to necessitate hospitalization for opioid analgesia (e.g., failure of home and outpatient therapy)
  • Ability to comprehend and use patient-controlled analgesia (PCA)
  • Score of 6 or greater on the baseline pain scale

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Temperature greater than or equal to 38.5ºC at the time of study entry or in the preceding 12 hours
  • Has a new lobar pulmonary infiltrate or a diagnosis of acute chest syndrome (i.e., a new lobar pulmonary infiltrate and two or more of the following: temperature greater than 38ºC, tachypnea, dyspnea, intercostal or supraclavicular retractions, nasal flaring, chest wall pain, and an oxygen saturation of less than 90% in room air by pulse oximetry)
  • Diagnosis of acute splenic or hepatic sequestration crisis (i.e., liver or spleen enlarged from steady-state size and Hgb level decreased 2 g/dL or more from steady-state value)
  • Currently experiencing priapism
  • Pain caused by suspected or confirmed hepatobiliary disease (e.g., cholecystitis or cholelithiasis)
  • Chronic pain caused by suspected or confirmed aseptic or avascular necrosis of the femoral or humeral heads
  • Chronic pain syndrome characterized by opioid tolerance and defined by hospitalization for at least 30 days for the management of pain in a 1 year period prior to study entry
  • Current participation (last transfusion given within the 2 months prior to study entry) in a program of chronic transfusions for the management of SCD; the use of hydroxyurea alone is permitted
  • Allergy or history of anaphylactoid reactions to aspirin or other NSAIDs
  • Kidney dysfunction (i.e., serum creatinine concentration greater than 1.5 times the upper limit of normal for age)
  • History of gastrointestinal bleeding or ulceration requiring medical therapy
  • Concomitant bleeding disorder (e.g., von Willebrand disease, hemophilia, or a qualitative platelet defect)
  • Any other medical condition that would make it unsafe to receive NSAIDs, as determined by the study physician
  • PCA not preferred
  • Use of ketorolac in the 30 days prior to study entry
  • Use of scheduled (e.g., "around the clock") opioid analgesics in the 5 days before the onset of current acute painful crisis
  • Pregnant
  Contacts and Locations
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, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00115336

United States, Texas
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas, Texas, United States, 75390
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Study Chair: Charles T. Quinn, MD University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  More Information

Responsible Party: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Identifier: NCT00115336     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 191
U54HL070588 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
Study First Received: June 21, 2005
Last Updated: January 18, 2013

Keywords provided by University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center:
Blood Diseases
Sickle Cell Anemia

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Anemia, Sickle Cell
Hematologic Diseases
Anemia, Hemolytic, Congenital
Anemia, Hemolytic
Genetic Diseases, Inborn
Ketorolac Tromethamine
Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
Sensory System Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Anti-Inflammatory Agents
Antirheumatic Agents
Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors
Enzyme Inhibitors
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action processed this record on March 28, 2017