A Multiinstitutional Evaluation of the Analgesic Efficacy and Safety of Ketorolac Tromethamine, Acetaminophen plus Codeine, and Placebo in Cancer Pain

Robert W. Carlson, Richard A. Borrison, Harvey B. Sher, Peter D. Eisenberg, Phyllis Ager Mowry, Edward M. Wolin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


Seventy‐five patients with moderate to severe cancer pain were randomly assigned in a double‐blind fashion to receive first‐dose ketorolac tromethamine 10 mg orally, acetaminophen 600 mg plus codeine 60 mg orally, or placebo, followed by subsequent doses of ketorolac or acetaminophen plus codeine four times daily for 7 days. Patient characteristics were similar among the treatment groups. The first‐dose observation documented that both ketorolac and acetaminophen plus codeine produced an equivalent reduction in cancer pain and were superior to placebo as measured by pain intensity differences and pain relief. Multidose comparison documented a small but statistically significant advantage in mean daily pain relief favoring acetaminophen plus codeine, although there were no differences in mean daily ratings of overall effects for either study medication. Adverse symptoms were acceptable with both ketorolac and acetaminophen plus codeine. We conclude that ketorolac has significant analgesic activity in patients with cancer pain, although its precise role in the treatment regimen of these patients remains undefined. (Pharmacotherapy 1990;10(3):211–216) 1990 Pharmacotherapy Publications Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-216
Number of pages6
JournalPharmacotherapy: The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1990


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)

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