Enteral paracetamol or Intravenous Indomethacin for Closure of Patent Ductus Arteriosus in Preterm Neonates: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Indian Pediatr. 2015 Jul;52(7):573-8. doi: 10.1007/s13312-015-0677-z.


Objective: To compare the efficacy of enteral paracetamol and intravenous indomethacin for closure of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in preterm neonates.

Design: Randomized controlled trial.

Setting: Level III neonatal intensive care unit.

Participants: 77 preterm neonates with birth weight ?1500 g and PDA size ?1.5 mm, with left to right ductal flow with left atrium to aortic root ratio >1.5:1; diagnosed by 2D-Echo within first 48 hours of life.

Intervention: Paracetamol drops through the infant feeding tube (15 mg/kg/dose 6 hourly for 7 days) or intravenous indomethacin (0.2 mg/kg/dose once daily for 3 days).

Outcome measures: Primary: PDA closure rate assessed by echocardiography. Secondary: need for surgical closure of PDA, renal impairment, gastrointestinal bleed, necrotising enterocolitis, hepatotoxicity, pulmonary hemorrhage, sepsis, hypothermia, retinopathy of prematurity, intraventricular hemorrhage, bronchopulmonary dysplasia and mortality.

Results: PDA closure rate was 100% (36/36) in enteral paracetamol group as compared to 94.6% (35/37) in intravenous indomethacin group (P=0.13). The secondary outcomes were also similar between the two groups. There was no occurrence of hepatotoxicity.

Conclusions: Enteral paracetamol is safe but not superior to intravenous indomethacin in the treatment of PDA in preterm neonates.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / administration & dosage*
  • Acetaminophen / adverse effects
  • Administration, Intravenous
  • Adult
  • Ductus Arteriosus, Patent / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indomethacin / administration & dosage*
  • Indomethacin / adverse effects
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight
  • Male


  • Acetaminophen
  • Indomethacin

Associated data

  • CTRI/CTRI/2012/12/003/63