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Systematic review
Intravenous paracetamol or intravenous propacetamol can provide effective postoperative analgesia for some patients
  1. Patricia O'Malley
  1. Nursing Research, Premier Health Partners, Dayton, Ohio, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Patricia O'Malley, Nursing Research, Premier Health Partners, Dayton, Ohio 45409, USA; pomalley{at}

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Commentary on: McNicol ED, Ferguson MC, Haroutounian S, et al. Single dose intravenous paracetamol or intravenous propacetamol for postoperative pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2016:CD007126.

Implications for practice and research

  • A single dose of intravenous paracetamol (acetaminophen) or intravenous propacetamol provides about 50% relief of pain over 4 hours for about 36% of patients with acute postoperative pain with few adverse events.

  • Few studies included children; therefore, results have limited generalisability to the paediatric patient.

  • Future research should focus on the role of intravenous formulations of paracetamol on the prevention and treatment of specific types of pain. Outcomes should include effects on opioid consumption, pain intensity and relief in adults and particularly in children.

  • Clinically meaningful end points such as resuming physical activity and diet and risk reduction for pulmonary complications and chronic pain should be considered in future studies.1


Despite progress in uncovering the complex mechanisms responsible for acute …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.