A different first-choice drug in the medical management of patent ductus arteriosus: oral paracetamol

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2013 May;26(8):825-7. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2012.755162. Epub 2013 Jan 15.


Background and objectives: Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in preterm infants. This case series was conducted to investigate the usefulness of paracetamol as a first choice for the treatment of PDA in preterm infants.

Subjects and methods: Preterm infants were prospectively enrolled. Treatment with oral paracetamol was started at a dose of 15 mg/kg every 6 h for 3 d, with echocardiographic evaluation performed at the end of the treatment and 2 d after the treatment. Serum paracetamol levels were also evaluated for 24 h after the first dose to ensure the absorption and reaching the therapeutic level.

Results: A total of six preterm infants were prospectively enrolled. Five infants with PDA were successfully treated with oral paracetamol. Only one patient did not respond to paracetamol treatment whereas another one received a second cure due to reopening of the ductus.

Conclusion: Paracetamol may be a useful treatment option for the primer treatment of PDA in preterm infants. If paracetamol is shown to be effective in a large series, because of low risk of side effects, low cost and preparation is available in enteral form, it may be an advantageous alternative at PDA treatment.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / therapeutic use*
  • Administration, Oral
  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic / therapeutic use*
  • Ductus Arteriosus, Patent / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
  • Acetaminophen