Randomized clinical trial of the 2 mg hydromorphone bolus protocol versus the "1+1" hydromorphone titration protocol in treatment of acute, severe pain in the first hour of emergency department presentation

Andrew K. Chang, Polly E. Bijur, Jason B. Lupow, E. John Gallagher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Study objective: We compare a high initial dose of 2 mg intravenous hydromorphone against titration of 1 mg intravenous hydromorphone followed by an optional second dose. Methods: Patients aged 21 to 64 years with severe pain were randomly allocated to 2 mg intravenous hydromorphone in a single bolus or the "1+1" hydromorphone titration protocol. 1+1 Patients received 1 mg intravenous hydromorphone followed by a second 1 mg dose 15 minutes later if they answered yes when asked, Do you want more pain medication? The primary outcome was the between-group difference in proportion of patients who declined additional analgesia at 60 minutes. Results: Of the 350 enrolled patients, 334 had sufficient data for analysis. The proportion who declined additional analgesics was 67.5% in the 2 mg bolus arm and 67.3% in the 1+1 titration arm (difference 0.2%; 95% confidence interval -9.7% to 10.2%). The between-group difference in numeric rating scale pain scores was 0.4 numeric rating scale units (95% confidence interval -0.3 to 1.1). The incidence of adverse effects was similar; 42.3% of 1+1 patients achieved satisfactory analgesia at 1 hour with only 1 mg hydromorphone. Conclusion: A hydromorphone 1+1 titration protocol provides similar pain relief to an initial 2 mg bolus dose, with no apparent clinical advantage to the latter. The 1+1 titration protocol had an opioid-sparing effect because 50% less opioid was needed to achieve satisfactory analgesia for 42.3% of patients allocated to this protocol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-310
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of emergency medicine
Volume62
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

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