Topical lidocaine and oral acetaminophen provide similar analgesia for myringotomy and tube placement in children

Can J Anaesth. 2006 Nov;53(11):1111-6. doi: 10.1007/BF03022879.


Purpose: Preoperative oral acetaminophen (30 mg x kg(-1)) was compared with topical 2% lidocaine ear drops for postoperative analgesia following bilateral myringotomy and tube placement (BMT) in children.

Methods: In a randomized, prospective, double-blind trial, we studied 124 patients, six months to eight years, ASA physical status I or II, undergoing elective BMT under general anesthesia. The patients in Group I received acetaminophen 30 mg x kg(-1) orally in a grape flavoured syrup 30 to 60 min before surgery and 0.9% saline drops (placebo) in each ear upon insertion of tympanostomy tube. Patients in Group II received a placebo (grape flavoured syrup) before surgery and 2% lidocaine, 0.5 mL in each ear when ear tubes were inserted. Postoperative pain assessments were recorded every five minutes in the postanesthesia care unit, and every 15 min in the day care surgical unit (DCSU) using the modified Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario pain scale (mCHEOPS), a ten-point scale. Pain at home was documented by parents using a 0 (no pain) to 10 (worst pain imaginable) scale.

Results: The median (range) mCHEOPS scores in the DCSU at 15 and 30 min were similar, i.e., 5 (4-9) in the acetaminophen group and 4 (4-8) in the lidocaine group. The proportion of patients receiving supplemental analgesics in the 24 hr following surgery was similar in both groups (45% and 42% respectively).

Conclusion: Topical lidocaine and oral acetaminophen in a dose of 30 mg x kg(-1) provide similar analgesia following BMT.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / administration & dosage
  • Acetaminophen / therapeutic use*
  • Administration, Oral
  • Administration, Topical
  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic / administration & dosage
  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic / therapeutic use*
  • Anesthetics, Local / administration & dosage
  • Anesthetics, Local / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Ear Canal
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lidocaine / administration & dosage
  • Lidocaine / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Ear Ventilation*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy*
  • Tympanic Membrane / surgery*


  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Acetaminophen
  • Lidocaine