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Analgesic Efficacy of Repeated Doses of Intravenous (IV) Acetaminophen in Post-operative Pediatric Spine Fusion Patients (IV APAP SF)

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Identifier:
First received: July 13, 2011
Last updated: March 17, 2016
Last verified: March 2016
This is a prospective, randomized, double-blinded, placebo controlled trial Potential subjects will be identified from the Pre-Surgical Anesthesia Clinic visit. Parents/legal guardians will be approached about study participation at the Anesthesia outpatient pre-visit. Attending Anesthesiologist will receive e-mail notification about potential subject participation the day before the scheduled surgery. Study lab (hepatic function panel) will be collected as soon as possible after anesthesia induction by anesthesia. Results will be reviewed by study team member and study drug will be ordered by study team if patient does not meet exclusion criteria. Study drug (IV acetaminophen or placebo) will be administered at the time of skin closure by anesthesia on completion of the surgical procedure (after randomization). Study drug will be administered every 6 hours for 2 days. Subjects will continue to receive standard of care with patient controlled analgesia (PCA) opiate therapy (morphine or hydromorphone) for analgesia as per the Pain Management Service. Pain scores, opiate (morphine equivalent) administered, requirements for treatment of opiate related side effects (treatment for nausea and itching), and certain post-operative characteristics will be measured for up to 4 days post-operatively (time to mobilization, time to diet advancement, time to discharge).

Condition Intervention Phase
Pain, Postoperative
Drug: Intravenous Acetaminophen
Other: Placebo
Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Analgesia Efficacy of Repeated Doses of Intravenous Acetaminophen (Paracetamol) in the Pediatric Spinal Fusion Population

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Total Opiate Requirement [ Time Frame: 24 hours ]
    Total opiate requirement was monitored 24 hours post-operatively. Morphine and hydromorphone measurements were totaled and recorded in mg/kg/day of morphine equivalents.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Average Pain Score [ Time Frame: 24 hours ]
    Pain Scores were monitored using the numeric pain assessment scale in both treatment arms of the study and recorded and averaged for the first 24 hours after initial intra-operative dose of study drug. The numeric pain assessment scale is a verbal self-reported pain assessment that ranges between 1 (no pain) to 10 (worst pain imaginable).

  • Average Nausea Score [ Time Frame: 24 hours ]
    Nausea scores were recorded by the nursing staff approximately 4 times over the first 24 hours and then averaged for the 24 hour period. Nausea Scores range from 1 (none) to 4 (severe).

  • Average Pruritus Score [ Time Frame: 24 hours ]
    Pruritus scores were recorded by the nursing staff approximately 4 times over the first 24 hours and then averaged for the 24 hour period. Pruritus scores range from 1 (none) to 3 (intolerable).

Enrollment: 67
Study Start Date: July 2011
Study Completion Date: July 2015
Primary Completion Date: June 2014 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Placebo Comparator: Saline Placebo
Control subjects will receive saline as placebo at the time of skin closure intra-operatively and will continue to receive IV saline for 44 hours post-operatively. Doses will be administered every 6 hours (total of 8 doses).
Other: Placebo
Saline placebo will be given at the time of skin closure intra-operatively and will continue to receive IV saline for 44 hours post-operatively. Doses will be administered every 6 hours (total of 8 doses).
Experimental: Intravenous Acetaminophen
Subjects will receive the first dose of intravenous (IV) acetaminophen (at 15 mg/kg, with maximum doses based on patient age and weight) at the time of skin closure intra-operatively and will continue to receive IV acetaminophen for 42 hours post-operatively. Doses will be administered every 6 hours (total of 8 doses).
Drug: Intravenous Acetaminophen
Scheduled doses of 15 mg/kg of IV acetaminophen will be administered to the treatment arm of the study for a total of 8 doses over a 48 hour period post-operatively.

Detailed Description:

An ideal drug as an opiate-sparing analgesic adjunct, acetaminophen, unlike some other drugs, is platelet function sparing, and thus particularly useful in the post-operative orthopedic patient population. In part because of its well established safety profile, as well as minimal drug interactions, acetaminophen is considered a cornerstone of a multimodal analgesic approach. Several studies have described the clinically significant beneficial effects of a multimodal drug approach to analgesia, citing improved pain control and a shorter recovery time. Reduced adverse events and improved pain control with multimodal analgesia drug approaches may result in shorter hospitalizations, improved recovery and function, and reduced health care costs. Opiate therapy, while effective analgesia, is associated with a variety of potential adverse side effects, including pruritus, nausea, emesis, ileus, respiratory depression, tolerance, addiction and sedation. These adverse effects may limit post-operative mobility, postpone return of bowel function, cause feeding intolerance, prolong hospitalization, and postpone post-operative recovery.

While oral acetaminophen is useful as an opiate-sparing therapy, the oral route of drug administration may not be feasible in the early post-operative period. Enteral drug absorption in the initial post-operative period may be erratic, with negative impacts on therapeutic effect. Intravenous acetaminophen may a particularly useful analgesic in these circumstances. At present, there are no pediatric studies in the United States examining the efficacy of multiple- dose IV acetaminophen in the post-operative surgical population. This study will compare analgesic efficacy, nausea and pruritus scores, time to recovery, and length of hospital stay in two subject groups who are status post spine fusion surgery: those who receive schedule IV acetaminophen and opiate for 48 hours, and those who are treated with standard opiate therapy without IV acetaminophen.


Ages Eligible for Study:   10 Years to 18 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

Subjects 10-18 years who are status post anterior or posterior spine fusion surgery

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. All patients requiring mechanical ventilation post-operatively, continuous infusions of sedative, or continuous infusions of alternate opiates (i.e. fentanyl)
  2. Patients with hepatic dysfunction
  3. Patients with chronic opiate requirements
  4. Pregnant or lactating females
  5. Patients placed on opiates other than morphine or hydromorphone
  6. Patients with opiate or acetaminophen allergies
  7. Patients placed on alternate analgesic adjuncts (i.e. ketamine, etc)
  8. Patients who receive intrathecal opiates
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01394718

United States, Pennsylvania
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 19104
Sponsors and Collaborators
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Principal Investigator: Athena Zuppa, MD Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  More Information

Responsible Party: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Identifier: NCT01394718     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 11-08095
Study First Received: July 13, 2011
Results First Received: March 17, 2016
Last Updated: March 17, 2016

Keywords provided by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia:
analgesic adjunct
spine fusion surgery
opiate reduction
pain management after elective surgical operation

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Pain, Postoperative
Neurologic Manifestations
Nervous System Diseases
Postoperative Complications
Pathologic Processes
Signs and Symptoms
Sensory System Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
Antipyretics processed this record on May 22, 2017