Oral versus intravenous acetaminophen for post-tonsillectomy pain in children
Tonsillectomy with or without adenoidectomy is a common surgical procedure in children and can result in significant post-operative pain. Acetaminophen has been shown to be effective in reducing pain and post-operative opioid requirements, and multiple dosing routes are available.
Several studies have demonstrated an opioid sparing effect and improvement of pain control with intravenous (IV) acetaminophen vs. placebo and/or active controls (meperidine, rectal acetaminophen, tramadol). Although pharmacokinetic data suggests superiority for the IV route, no clinical studies have compared oral versus IV acetaminophen for post-tonsillectomy pain control in children.