Two prophylactic pain management regimens for medical abortion ≤63 days' gestation with mifepristone and misoprostol: A multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled trial

Monica V. Dragoman, Daniel Grossman, My Huong Nguyen, Ndema Habib, Nathalie Kapp, Anand Tamang, Tshego Bessenaar, Lan Dung Duong, Jageshwor Gautam, Jean Louis Yoko, Minh Hong, Metin Gulmezoglu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To determine if either prophylactic tramadol 50 mg or ibuprofen 400 mg/metoclopramide 10 mg result in lower maximal pain compared to placebo in women ≤63 days' gestation having a mifepristone-misoprostol medical abortion. Study design: We conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled trial in Nepal, South Africa, and Vietnam. Participants seeking medical abortion received active treatment or placebo, taken at time of misoprostol and repeated 4 hours later. All had access to additional analgesia. The primary outcome was mean maximum pain score within 8 hours. Participants self-assessed maximum pain using an 11-point numeric rating scale recorded in paper diaries; we analyzed these data using intention-to-treat analysis. Secondary outcomes included use of additional analgesia, side effects, and satisfaction. Results: We enrolled 563 patients between June 2016 and October 2017; 5 participants failed to follow up. Mean adjusted maximum pain scores within 8 hours in both active arms were lower than placebo (tramadol: n = 188, 6.78 (95% confidence interval [CI] 6.46, 7.11); ibuprofen/metoclopramide: n = 187, 6.43 (95% CI 6.10, 6.75); placebo: n = 188, 7.42 (95% CI 7.10, 7.74); p = 0.0001). Additional analgesia was used by 97 (52.2%) participants in the tramadol group, 80 (43.0%) in the ibuprofen/metoclopramide group, and 103 (55.7%) in the placebo group, p = 0.04. More dizziness (p = 0.004), headache (p = 0.03), and vomiting (p < 0.001) occurred in the tramadol group. More participants reported experienced pain was the same or less than expected in the ibuprofen/metoclopramide group (p = 0.05); overall abortion satisfaction did not differ by group (p = 0.44). Conclusions: Compared with placebo, tramadol or ibuprofen/metoclopramide co-administered with misoprostol and repeated 4 h later resulted in lower mean maximum pain scores that failed to achieve clinical significance. Women who received ibuprofen/metoclopramide were least likely to use additional analgesia and reported fewer side effects. Implications: Given that tramadol, ibuprofen, and metoclopramide are inexpensive, globally available; and, ibuprofen and metoclopramide are included on the World Health Organization Essential Medicines List, these medicines could be considered for prophylactic pain management during medical abortion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-170
Number of pages8
JournalContraception
Volume103
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Abortion
  • Ibuprofen
  • Metoclopramide
  • Mifepristone
  • Pain management
  • Tramadol

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