Rofecoxib versus Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen for Postoperative Analgesia in Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery


  • This study was funded by the LLU Division of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Loma Linda, California, U.S.A.


Objectives/Hypothesis: Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) is less invasive and more tissue sparing than extirpative techniques, with an assumed benefit of diminished postoperative pain. Oral opioids are commonly prescribed after sinus surgery but are associated with adverse effects, including gastrointestinal and neurologic symptoms. Nonopioid analgesics have been suggested to offer similar pain control efficacy with fewer adverse effects.

Study Design: To investigate postoperative analgesia in FESS, a prospective randomized, double-blinded comparison of hydrocodone/acetaminophen 7.5/750 mg (an opioidderivative) with rofecoxib 50 mg (a cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor) was performed.

Methods: Forty subjects were enrolled, of which 28 successfully completed the study. Subjects recorded peak pain levels and requirement for rescue analgesia on the day of surgery and for 4 days thereafter. On postoperative day 5, subjects completed an exit survey in which adverse effects and overall satisfaction with pain control were recorded.

Results: In this study, there were no statistical differences in peak pain levels between the groups at any point in the postoperative period, regardless of extent of surgery. Adverse effect profiles were also similar for the two groups.

Conclusions: The use of nonopioid analgesics after FESS may provide similar pain control to oral opioids.