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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and non-opioids for acute renal colic

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, June 2015
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (92nd percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (72nd percentile)

Mentioned by

1 policy source
26 tweeters
1 Facebook page
2 Wikipedia pages


58 Dimensions

Readers on

214 Mendeley
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and non-opioids for acute renal colic
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, June 2015
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd006027.pub2
Pubmed ID

Kourosh Afshar, Siavash Jafari, Andrew J Marks, Arash Eftekhari, Andrew E MacNeily


Renal colic is acute pain caused by urinary stones. The prevalence of urinary stones is between 10% and 15% in the United States, making renal colic one of the common reasons for urgent urological care. The pain is usually severe and the first step in the management is adequate analgesia. Many different classes of medications have been used in this regard including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and narcotics. The aim of this review was to assess benefits and harms of different NSAIDs and non-opioids in the treatment of adult patients with acute renal colic and if possible to determine which medication (or class of medications) are more appropriate for this purpose. Clinically relevant outcomes such as efficacy of pain relief, time to pain relief, recurrence of pain, need for rescue medication and side effects were explored. We searched the Cochrane Renal Group's Specialised Register (to 27 November 2014) through contact with the Trials' Search Co-ordinator using search terms relevant to this review. Only randomised or quasi randomised studies were included. Other inclusion criteria included adult patients with a clinical diagnosis of renal colic due to urolithiasis, at least one treatment arm included a non-narcotic analgesic compared to placebo or another non-narcotic drug, and reporting of pain outcome or medication adverse effect. Patient-rated pain by a validated tool, time to relief, need for rescue medication and pain recurrence constituted the outcomes of interest. Any adverse effects (minor or major) reported in the studies were included. Abstracts were reviewed by at least two authors independently. Papers meeting the inclusion criteria were fully reviewed and relevant data were recorded in a standardized Cochrane Renal Group data collection form. For dichotomous outcomes relative risks and 95% confidence intervals were calculated. For continuous outcomes the weighted mean difference was estimated. Both fixed and random models were used for meta-analysis. We assessed the analgesic effects using four different outcome variables: patient-reported pain relief using a visual analogue scale (VAS); proportion of patients with at least 50% reduction in pain; need for rescue medication; and pain recurrence. Heterogeneity was assessed using the I² test. A total of 50 studies (5734 participants) were included in this review and 37 studies (4483 participants) contributed to our meta-analyses. Selection bias was low in 34% of the studies or unclear in 66%; performance bias was low in 74%, high in 14% and unclear in 12%; attrition bias was low in 82% and high in 18%; selective reporting bias low in 92% of the studies; and other biases (industry funding) was high in 4%, unclear in 18% and low in 78%.Patient-reported pain (VAS) results varied widely with high heterogeneity observed. For those comparisons which could be pooled we observed the following: NSAIDs significantly reduced pain compared to antispasmodics (5 studies, 303 participants: MD -12.97, 95% CI -21.80 to - 4.14; I² = 74%) and combination therapy of NSAIDs plus antispasmodics was significantly more effective in pain control than NSAID alone (2 studies, 310 participants: MD -1.99, 95% CI -2.58 to -1.40; I² = 0%).NSAIDs were significantly more effective than placebo in reducing pain by 50% within the first hour (3 studies, 197 participants: RR 2.28, 95% CI 1.47 to 3.51; I² = 15%). Indomethacin was found to be less effective than other NSAIDs (4 studies, 412 participants: RR 1.27, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.60; I² = 55%). NSAIDs were significantly more effective than hyoscine in pain reduction (5 comparisons, 196 participants: RR 2.44, 95% CI 1.61 to 3.70; I² = 28%). The combination of NSAIDs and antispasmodics was not superior to NSAIDs only (9 comparisons, 906 participants: RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.89 to 1.13; I² = 59%). The results were mixed when NSAIDs were compared to other non-opioid medications.When the need for rescue medication was evaluated, Patients receiving NSAIDs were significantly less likely to require rescue medicine than those receiving placebo (4 comparisons, 180 participants: RR 0.35, 95% CI 0.20 to 0.60; I² = 24%) and NSAIDs were more effective than antispasmodics (4 studies, 299 participants: RR 0.34, 95% CI 0.14 to 0.84; I² = 65%). Combination of NSAIDs and antispasmodics was not superior to NSAIDs (7 comparisons, 589 participants: RR 0.99, 95% CI 0.62 to 1.57; I² = 10%). Indomethacin was less effective than other NSAIDs (4 studies, 517 participants: RR 1.36, 95% CI 0.96 to 1.94; I² = 14%) except for lysine acetyl salicylate (RR 0.15, 95% CI 0.04 to 0.65).Pain recurrence was reported by only three studies which could not be pooled: a higher proportion of patients treated with 75 mg diclofenac (IM) showed pain recurrence in the first 24 hours of follow-up compared to those treated with 40 mg piroxicam (IM) (60 participants: RR 0.05, 95% CI 0.00 to 0.81); no significant difference in pain recurrence at 72 hours was observed between piroxicam plus phloroglucinol and piroxicam plus placebo groups (253 participants: RR 2.52, 95% CI 0.15 to12.75); and there was no significant difference in pain recurrence within 72 hours of discharge between IM piroxicam and IV paracetamol (82 participants: RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.65 to 1.54).Side effects were presented inconsistently, but no major events were reported. Although due to variability in studies (inclusion criteria, outcome variables and interventions) and the evidence is not of highest quality, we still believe that NSAIDs are an effective treatment for renal colic when compared to placebo or antispasmodics. The addition of antispasmodics to NSAIDS does not result in better pain control. Data on other types of non-opioid, non-NSAID medication was scarce.Major adverse effects are not reported in the literature for the use of NSAIDs for treatment of renal colic.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 26 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 214 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Italy 1 <1%
Germany 1 <1%
Peru 1 <1%
Unknown 211 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 35 16%
Student > Bachelor 26 12%
Researcher 23 11%
Student > Ph. D. Student 18 8%
Other 14 7%
Other 39 18%
Unknown 59 28%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 99 46%
Nursing and Health Professions 22 10%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 4 2%
Psychology 4 2%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 3 1%
Other 18 8%
Unknown 64 30%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 23. 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 21 May 2021.
All research outputs
of 18,694,771 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 11,845 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 240,598 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 271 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 18,694,771 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 94th percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,845 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 26.3. This one has done well, scoring higher than 76% 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 240,598 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 92% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 271 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 72% of its contemporaries.