Comparison of the efficacy of diclofenac, acupuncture, and acetaminophen in the treatment of renal colic

Published:February 25, 2015DOI:



      The objective is to compare the analgesic effects of diclofenac, acetaminophen, and acupuncture in urolithiasis-driven renal colic pain relief.


      Renal colic patients were divided randomly into 3 groups. Patients in group I (n = 40) were treated with intravenous acetaminophen, those in group II (n = 41) with acupuncture, and those in group III (n = 40) with a 75-mg intramuscular injection diclofenac sodium. Visual analogue scale (VAS) and verbal rating scale (VRS) were used to assess pain intensity after 10, 30, 60, and 120 minutes.


      No significant differences in baseline VAS or VRS were found with regard to age or sex. After 10 minutes, all 3 groups experienced a significant decrease in VAS and VRS scores, with the most drastic decrease occurring in group II. After 30 minutes, there was a significantly higher decrease in group III than in group I (P = .001). After 60 minutes, mean VAS scores of groups I and III (P = .753) were similar. The mean VAS score of group III was lower than that of group II (P = .013). After 120 minutes, the difference in the VAS scores was (P = .000) between groups I and II and between groups II and III. Yet, the VAS evaluation made after 120 minutes revealed statistically similar outcomes for groups I and III (P = .488). The statistical findings for VRS evaluations made after 10, 30, 60, and 120 were similar to those for VAS.


      In renal colic patients with a possible nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug and acetaminophen side effect risk, acupuncture emerges as an alternative treatment modality.
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