Low-Dose Morphine Less Effective Than Diclofenac or Acetaminophen for Renal Colic
Am Fam Physician. 2016 Oct 15;94(8):665.
Which analgesics are most effective in providing significant pain relief in patients who are passing kidney stones in the emergency department?
This is a good example of how a well-done study can lead to erroneous conclusions. The comparator most likely to be effective here—titrated morphine—was used at a low dose and found to be less effective than intramuscular diclofenac or intravenous paracetamol (acetaminophen). (Level of Evidence = 1b)
These authors randomly assigned more than 1,600 patients who presented to an emergency department with suspected kidney stones and pain severity of at least 4 out of 10 to receive 75 mg of intramuscular diclofenac (n = 548), 1 g of intravenous paracetamol (n = 548), or 0.1 mg per kg of intravenous morphine (n =
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