To compare the overall analgesic effect, including time to onset, peak and duration of effect for etoricoxib 120 mg, a new COX-2 selective inhibitor, in patients with acute pain to that of placebo. Naproxen sodium 550 mg and acetaminophen/codeine 600/60 mg were the active comparators.
A total of 201 patients with moderate to severe pain following surgical extraction of ≥2 third molars, of which at least the mandibular tooth was impacted, were randomly allocated to receive single oral doses of placebo (n = 50), etoricoxib 120 mg (n = 50), naproxen sodium 550 mg (n = 51), or acetaminophen/codeine 600/60 mg (n = 50). The endpoints included total pain relief over 8 hours (TOPAR8, primary end point), sum of pain intensity difference over 8 hours, patient’s global evaluation, onset, peak, and duration of analgesia.
Etoricoxib 120 mg had a significantly greater least squares (LS) mean TOPAR8 score than placebo (20.9 vs 5.4; P < 0.001) and acetaminophen/codeine 600/60 mg (20.9 vs 11.5; P < 0.001), and a similar LS mean TOPAR8 score to naproxen sodium 550 mg (20.9 vs 21.3). All three active treatments had rapid onset of analgesia, median time ~30 minutes. The duration of analgesic effect, defined as median time to rescue medication use, was >24 hours for etoricoxib, 20.8 hours for naproxen sodium, 3.6 hours for acetaminophen/codeine, and 1.6 hours for placebo.
Etoricoxib is a new COX-2 selective inhibitor under development for treatment of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and acute pain. In this study, etoricoxib 120 mg provided rapid and long-lasting pain relief to patients with moderate-to-severe postdental surgery pain. Etoricoxib was generally well tolerated.