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Intranasal Fentanyl for Analgesia in Adults with Acute Renal Colic

Massimiliano Etteri, Andrea Bellone
  • Massimiliano Etteri
    UOC Pronto Soccorso-Medicina d’Urgenza, Azienda Ospedaliera Sant’Anna, Como, |
  • Andrea Bellone
    UOC Pronto Soccorso-Medicina d’Urgenza, Azienda Ospedaliera Sant’Anna, Como, Italy


Objectives: The usual treatment of pain in acute renal colic is analgesic in intravenous (IV) route. We tried a rapid, non painful, non-invasive route of administration using intranasal fentanyl versus IV standard treatment (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) plus morphine) for the relief of pain in renal colic presenting to an Emergency Department (ED). Methods: We conducted a prospective non-blinded randomized clinical trial. A sample of 63 adult patients with clinical diagnosis of acute renal colic was included to receive either intravenous morphine (5 mg) plus ketorolac (30 mg) or intranasal fentanyl (3 μg/kg). Pain score were rated by using a 10 cm visual analogue scale at 0,30 and 60 minutes after the treatment. Primary outcome was pain reduction. Secondary outcomes were adverse events and rescue treatment. Results: Sixty-three patients were enrolled. Thirty patients received nasal fentanyl and thirty-three received intravenous morphine plus ketorolac. Morphine-ketorolac therapy was statistically significant more effective than nasal fentanyl therapy in visual analog scores at 30 minutes: the difference in mean visual analog scale between the two groups was 1.74 cm (95% confidence interval 0.29 to 3.2; P=0.018) at 30 minutes. There were not statistically significant differences between the two groups at 60 minutes. There were no significant differences between the groups with regard to secondary outcomes (adverse events and rescue treatment). Conclusions: A combination of intravenous morphine plus ketorolac offers pain relief superior to nasal fentanyl treatment for ED patients with acute renal colic.


Intranasal Fentanyl; Analgesia; Acute Renal Colic

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Submitted: 2013-02-11 11:48:34
Published: 2012-07-19 00:00:00
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Copyright (c) 2012 Massimiliano Etteri, Andrea Bellone

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