SKOPE-Study of Ketorolac vs Opioid for Pain after Endoscopy: A Double-Blinded Randomized Control Trial in Patients Undergoing Ureteroscopy

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The Journal of urology


PURPOSE: Pain is the leading cause of unplanned emergency department visits and readmissions after ureteroscopy, making postoperative analgesic stewardship a priority given the current opioid epidemic. We conducted a double-blinded, randomized controlled trial, with noninferiority design, comparing nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to opiates for postoperative pain control in patients undergoing ureteroscopy for urolithiasis.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients were randomized and blinded to either oxycodone (5 mg) or ketorolac (10 mg), taken as needed, with 3 nonblinded oxycodone rescue pills for breakthrough pain. Primary study outcome was visual analogue scale pain score on postoperative days 1-5. Secondary outcomes included medication utilization, side effects, and Ureteral Stent Symptom Questionnaire scores.

RESULTS: Eighty-one patients were included (43 oxycodone, 38 ketorolac). The two groups had comparable patient, stone, and perioperative characteristics. No differences were found in post-operative pain scores, study medication or rescue pill usage, or side effects. Higher maximum pain scores on days 1-5 (p<0.05) and higher USSQ score (28.1 vs 21.7, p=0.045) correlated with analgesic usage, irrespective of treatment group. Patients receiving ketorolac reported significantly fewer days confined to bed (1.3±1.3 vs 2.3±2.6, p=0.02). There was no difference in unscheduled post-operative physician encounters.

CONCLUSIONS: This is the first double-blinded randomized controlled trial comparing nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and opiates post-ureteroscopy, and demonstrates noninferiority of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in pain control with similar efficacy, safety profile, physician contact and notably, earlier convalescence compared to the opioid group. This provides strong evidence against routine opioid use post-ureteroscopy, justifying continued investigation into reducing postoperative opiate prescriptions.

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ePub ahead of print

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