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Wickerts L. 1, Warrén Stomberg M. 2, Brattwall M. 3, Jakobsson J. 4
1 Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Danderyds University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden;
2 Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Health and Care Sciences, University of Gothenburg and School of Life Sciences, University of Skövde, Sweden;
3 Sahlgrenska Academy, Department of Anaesthesia, Möndals University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden;
4 Section for Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Institution for Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
A multi-modal approach for the management of postoperative pain has become increasingly popular. Strategies to avoid the use of opioids and thus any opioid analgesic related side-effect is an important part of the expansion of ambulatory surgery. Combining long acting local anesthesia in the wound area and non-opioid analgesics are today a basic concept in management of day care, short stay patients. Paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is often sufficient to provide satisfactory pain relief after minor and intermediate procedures. The use of multimodal or balanced analgesia has since long been shown to facilitate resumption of activities of daily living. The opioid sparing effects of the addition of NSAIDs to morphine patient-controlled analgesic (PCA) after major surgery has also shown repeatedly. The development and introduction of the most selective cyclo-oxygenase-2-inhibitors (Coxibs) was primarily indicated to reduce the risk and severity of gastrointestinal bleeding. The Coxibs have become an interesting option in postoperative pain management. The less pronounced effect on platelet function and subsequent lower risk for impaired hemeostasis makes them, in theory, a preferred option to the non-selective traditional NSAIDs. The benefit versus risk for a more generalized use of Coxibs must, however, be based on a thorough evaluation of the overall benefits and risks for the use of NSAIDs and a further evaluation on whether the specific therapeutic features of the Coxibs provide benefits outweighing their increased cost. This review aims at providing a background and an overview of the benefits versus risks for the use of Coxibs as part of a multimodal postoperative pain management.