Background: In this prospective randomized study we tested the hypothesis that use of more cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX 2)-selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can reduce perioperative blood loss compared with non-selective NSAIDs.
Methods: Data from 200 patients who underwent total hip replacement were studied. Two NSAIDs were compared: indomethacin 50 mg (n = 82) and meloxicam 15 mg (n = 86). Both NSAIDs were given orally 1 h before surgery.
Results: The two groups were not different with respect to age, gender, ASA class or duration of surgery. When indomethacin was used preoperatively, intraoperative blood loss was 623 ± 243 mL (mean ± SD) and postoperative blood loss 410 ± 340 mL. After meloxicam, these values were 524 ± 304 mL and 358 ± 272 mL, respectively. Total perioperative blood loss after meloxicam was 17% (P < 0.05) less than that observed after indomethacin.
Conclusion: Perioperative blood loss after meloxicam is less than after indomethacin. These in vivo findings are consistent with in vitro results using selective COX 2 NSAIDs.