Background Recent controversy has sparked interest into a potential new treatment for patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). Ten case series and two randomised controlled trials have now been carried out comparing paracetamol and ibuprofen. This review aims to investigate whether paracetamol could potentially be used as the new first line therapeutic option.
Method Literature review.
Results Eight out of the ten case series show that paracetamol was effective at closing the PDA in 71–100% of patients. Both randomised control trials were able to show that there was no statistically significant difference between the treatment regimes. One study also provided evidence that paracetamol causes fewer side effects than ibuprofen.
Conclusion From the data available it does seem that paracetamol is a viable and potentially better therapeutic option for the treatment of PDA. This is due to it being as successful at closing PDAs with potentially fewer side effects. Further work should now be carried out to answer the limitations of the studies already available to. What is the optimum dose and treatment regime? What is the best route of administration and does treatment alter long-term outcomes?