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A non-inferiority trial comparing paracetamol / codeine and meloxicam for post-operative analgesia in dogs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
JournalVeterinary Record
Early online date3 Jan 2020
DateAccepted/In press - 1 Dec 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 3 Jan 2020


Background: There are limited published data on the analgesic efficacy of 26 paracetamol/codeine in dogs.

Methods: Prospective, randomized, blinded, positive-controlled clinical trial with 70 dogs (paracetamol/codeine, n = 46; meloxicam, n = 24) undergoing surgery. Drugs were administered orally two hours before and for 48 hours after surgery at the licensed dose. Anaesthesia was standardised. Dogs received buprenorphine 6- hourly for the first 24 hours after surgery. Outcome assessments were made pre-trial and at regular intervals up to 48 hours after extubation and comprised the Glasgow Composite Measure Pain Score (GCMPS-SF), visual analogue scale for sedation and inflammation and mechanical nociceptive threshold (MNT). Non-inferiority of paracetamol/codeine compared with meloxicam was defined using a non-inferiority margin (Δ) against the 95% confidence interval of the difference between the treatment means.

Results: Pain scores were low in both treatment groups. With the exception of MNT all upper 95% confidence intervals for the differences between outcome variable treatment means were within + Delta for each variable, establishing non-inferiority for each outcome variable.

Conclusions: Paracetamol/codeine is a useful peri-operative analgesic that within the context of the peri-operative analgesia regimen studied (methadone premedication, buprenorphine for the 1st 24 hours after surgery) shows non-inferiority to the NSAID meloxicam.

    Research areas

  • paracetamol/codeine, dogs, peri-operative pain, analgesia, meloxicam



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