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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Oral nonsteroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for cancer pain in adults

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, July 2017
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (96th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (86th percentile)

Mentioned by

7 news outlets
2 blogs
27 X users
1 Facebook page
6 Wikipedia pages


73 Dimensions

Readers on

215 Mendeley
Oral nonsteroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for cancer pain in adults
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, July 2017
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd012638.pub2
Pubmed ID

Sheena Derry, Philip J Wiffen, R Andrew Moore, Ewan D McNicol, Rae Frances Bell, Daniel B Carr, Mairead McIntyre, Bee Wee


Pain is a common symptom with cancer, and 30% to 50% of all people with cancer will experience moderate to severe pain that can have a major negative impact on their quality of life. Non-opioid drugs are commonly used to treat cancer pain, and are recommended for this purpose in the World Health Organization (WHO) cancer pain treatment ladder, either alone or in combination with opioids.A previous Cochrane review that examined the evidence for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or paracetamol, alone or combined with opioids, for cancer pain was withdrawn in 2015 because it was out of date; the date of the last search was 2005. This review, and another on paracetamol, updates the evidence. To assess the efficacy of oral NSAIDs for cancer pain in adults, and the adverse events reported during their use in clinical trials. We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, and Embase from inception to April 2017, together with reference lists of retrieved papers and reviews, and two online study registries. We included randomised, double-blind, single-blind, or open-label studies of five days' duration or longer, comparing any oral NSAID alone with placebo or another NSAID, or a combination of NSAID plus opioid with the same dose of the opioid alone, for cancer pain of any pain intensity. The minimum study size was 25 participants per treatment arm at the initial randomisation. Two review authors independently searched for studies, extracted efficacy and adverse event data, and examined issues of study quality and potential bias. We did not carry out any pooled analyses. We assessed the quality of the evidence using GRADE and created a 'Summary of findings' table. Eleven studies satisfied inclusion criteria, lasting one week or longer; 949 participants with mostly moderate or severe pain were randomised initially, but fewer completed treatment or had results of treatment. Eight studies were double-blind, two single-blind, and one open-label. None had a placebo only control; eight compared different NSAIDs, three an NSAID with opioid or opioid combination, and one both. None compared an NSAID plus opioid with the same dose of opioid alone. Most studies were at high risk of bias for blinding, incomplete outcome data, or small size; none was unequivocally at low risk of bias.It was not possible to compare NSAIDs as a group with another treatment, or one NSAID with another NSAID. Results for all NSAIDs are reported as a randomised cohort. We judged results for all outcomes as very low-quality evidence.None of the studies reported our primary outcomes of participants with pain reduction of at least 50%, and at least 30%, from baseline; participants with Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC) of much improved or very much improved (or equivalent wording). With NSAID, initially moderate or severe pain was reduced to no worse than mild pain after one or two weeks in four studies (415 participants in total), with a range of estimates between 26% and 51% in individual studies.Adverse event and withdrawal reporting was inconsistent. Two serious adverse events were reported with NSAIDs, and 22 deaths, but these were not clearly related to any pain treatment. Common adverse events were thirst/dry mouth (15%), loss of appetite (14%), somnolence (11%), and dyspepsia (11%). Withdrawals were common, mostly because of lack of efficacy (24%) or adverse events (5%). There is no high-quality evidence to support or refute the use of NSAIDs alone or in combination with opioids for the three steps of the three-step WHO cancer pain ladder. There is very low-quality evidence that some people with moderate or severe cancer pain can obtain substantial levels of benefit within one or two weeks.

X Demographics

X Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 27 X users who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.
Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 215 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 215 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 32 15%
Student > Bachelor 20 9%
Researcher 17 8%
Student > Ph. D. Student 17 8%
Student > Doctoral Student 13 6%
Other 34 16%
Unknown 82 38%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 66 31%
Nursing and Health Professions 27 13%
Psychology 12 6%
Social Sciences 4 2%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 4 2%
Other 14 7%
Unknown 88 41%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 85. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 10 January 2024.
All research outputs
of 25,382,440 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 11,484 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 324,886 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 213 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 25,382,440 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 98th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,484 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 39.9. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 92% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 324,886 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 96% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 213 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 86% of its contemporaries.