Postoperative Ibuprofen and the Risk of Bleeding After Tonsillectomy With or Without Adenoidectomy


Tonsillectomy (the surgical removal of the tonsils) is a commonly performed surgery in children. One risk of tonsillectomy is postoperative bleeding, and this can be more dangerous in children because their blood volume is lower than adults. Ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID), is an effective pain medication. Recent guidelines, published by the American Academy of Otolaryngology, advocated use of ibuprofen after tonsillectomy. However, NSAIDs are associated with altered platelet function and a theoretical increased risk of bleeding after surgery. The investigators would like to explore the effect that ibuprofen has on postoperative bleeding, as well as validate previous studies demonstrating it is an effective pain medication after tonsillectomy.

Study Start Date

September 2011

Estimated Completion Date

June 2017


  • Drug: Acetaminophen
  • Drug: Ibuprofen


  • Surgery: Surgical Technique
  • Pharmacy: Adverse Drug Reactions
  • Otolaryngology: Oral Cavity

MeSH Terms

  • Acetaminophen
  • Adenoidectomy
  • Hemorrhage
  • Ibuprofen
  • Tonsillectomy

Study ID

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary -- 11-054H



Trial ID


Study Type


Trial Phase

Phase 2

Enrollment Quota



Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary

Inclusion Criteria

  • Patients ages 2-18 undergoing tonsillectomy with or without adenoidectomy by electrocautery alone for sleep disordered breathing or infectious tonsillitis will be included.
  • Patients with complex medical conditions and craniofacial abnormalities will be included.
  • Informed consent and child assent will be required for enrollment

Exclusion Criteria

  • Patients with a known personal or family history of a bleeding disorder will be excluded.
  • Patients with a history of asthma, kidney or liver problems will also be excluded.
  • Patients with tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy performed using a cold knife technique, microdebrider, coblation or plasma knife.
  • Patients on NSAIDs for other medical conditions, or those who have taken NSAIDs within 1 week of surgery will be excluded.
  • Patients with allergy to aspirin or other NSAIDs, acetaminophen, Red Dye #40 or Red Dye #33 will also be excluded.
  • Pregnancy testing using urine beta-HCG will be performed on all children > 13 years of age, or those younger than 13 who are menstruating
  • this is the testing protocol used at the Children's Hospital of Boston. Patients found to be pregnant will be excluded from participation.




2 Years to 18 Years

Accepts Healthy Volunteers


Study Locations and Contact Information (1)

Study Location Distance Name Phone Email
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary - Boston, Massachusetts 2.8 miles Christopher M Hartnick MD 617-573-4206 provides clinical trial listings in an easy to view format. All clinical trial information is pulled directly from This website does not guarantee acceptance into any clinical trial, and is not responsible for adverse events that may be incurred from a clinical trial.