• 1 Division of Clinical Dentistry, School of Dentistry, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Electronic address:
  • 2 Division of Clinical Dentistry, School of Dentistry, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • 3 Division of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ubon Ratchathani University, Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand; School of Pharmacy, Monash University Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia
  • 4 School of Pharmacy, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • 5 Department of Restorative Sciences/Endodontics, Texas A&M University College of Dentistry, Dallas, Texas
J Endod, 2019 Apr;45(4):364-371.
PMID: 30737050 DOI: 10.1016/j.joen.2018.10.016


INTRODUCTION: This review aimed to find the most effective oral premedication in reducing pain in adults after nonsurgical root canal therapy (NSRCT) using network meta-analysis.

METHODS: The review protocol was registered in the PROSPERO database (CRD42017071899). A literature search was performed in the MEDLINE and EBSCOhost databases until June 2017 with no language restriction. Randomized controlled trials evaluating the efficacy of oral premedications, whether given alone or in combination, compared with other agents, placebo, or no treatment in adult patients before NSRCT for postoperative pain were included. Nonintervention studies, nonendodontic studies, animal studies, and reviews were excluded. The quality of the studies was assessed using the revised Cochrane risk of bias tool. Pair-wise meta-analysis, network meta-analysis, and quality of evidence assessment using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation criteria was performed.

RESULTS: Eleven studies comparing pharmacologic groups of medications were included in the primary analysis. Compared with placebo, corticosteroids (prednisolone 30-40 mg) was ranked best for reducing postoperative pain (median difference [MD] = -18.14 [95% confidence interval (CI), -32.90 to -3.37] for the pain score at 6 hours; MD = -22.17 [95% CI, -36.03 to -8.32] for the pain score at 12 hours; and MD = -21.50 [95% CI, -37.95 to -5.06] for the pain score at 24 hours). However, the evidence was very low (6 and 24 hours) to moderate quality (12 hours). Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were ranked least among the medications, and the quality of this evidence was very low. Additional analysis based on the chemical name showed that sulindac, ketorolac, and ibuprofen significantly reduced pain at 6 hours, whereas piroxicam and prednisolone significantly reduced the pain at 12 and 24 hours. Etodolac was found to be least effective in reducing pain. Overall, the evidence was of moderate to very low quality.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on the limited and low-quality evidence, oral premedication with piroxicam or prednisolone could be recommended for controlling postoperative pain after NSRCT. However, more trials are warranted to confirm the results with a higher quality of evidence.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

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