Background/purpose: Weak opioid combined with acetaminophen (APAP) has been proven to provide better analgesic efficacy and cause fewer complications than either drug alone. However, there are questions about whether different opioids, tramadol and propoxyphene, provide similar efficacy or safety. Thus, we investigated Ultracet (37.5 mg tramadol/325 mg APAP) and Depain-X (65 mg propoxyphene/650 mg APAP). The primary aims of this study were to compare the analgesic efficacy and adverse effects of single-dose oral Ultracet versus Depain-X in acute postoperative pain. Materials and methods: This was a randomized, open-label, active-controlled parallel study on patients with postsurgical pain. Sixty patients who sustained moderate postsurgical pain (visual analog scale 33 cm) after undergoing implantation of venous access were randomized to two groups to receive either Ultracetor Depain-X for postoperative analgesia. Assessment items included pain intensity and pain relief ratings at the first 4 hours, and adverse events. Results: There were initially 107 patients who were enrolled in this trial, but up to 45 (42.1%) of them were withdrawn during the study. In these 62 patients who complied with treatment (Ultracet: Depain-X = 29: 33), pain relief scale indicated that Ultracet could provide a better analgesic effect than Depain-X provided at1 hour (p <0.05). At 4 hours, the pain score in the Ultracet group was significantly lower than that in the Depain-X group (p <0.05). Adverse events, such as drowsiness, dizziness, and skin itching did not differ in both groups. Conclusion: Among patients with mild to moderate postoperative wound pain, single-dose Ultracet can provide slightly better analgesic efficacy than Depain-X in terms of onset and duration. Depain-X is no longer marketed in Europe, America, Taiwan and other countries, therefore, Ultracet can serve as a good substitute for treating postoperative pain.
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