Pediatric Drugs

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 113–121 | Cite as

Efficacy and Safety of Oral Paracetamol vs. Oral Ibuprofen in the Treatment of Symptomatic Patent Ductus Arteriosus in Premature Infants

  • Birol KarabulutEmail author
  • Sebnem Paytoncu
Original Research Article



The ductus arteriosus (DA) is situated between the aortic arch and the pulmonary artery in fetal circulation, and its closure is one of the most important changes required for the transition to extrauterine life. Prolonged duration of patent DA (PDA) impairs hemodynamics and contributes both to morbidity associated with prematurity and to mortality. Therefore, when best to initiate treatment and what drug to use as first-line treatment to close the ductus is important.


The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy and side effects of the oral forms of ibuprofen and paracetamol and to contribute to the literature investigating the first drug to be selected in the medical treatment of PDA.


This observational, retrospective cohort study was conducted in infants born at ≤ 28 weeks’ gestation and admitted to our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (Manisa Merkezefendi State Hospital, Manisa, Turkey) between February 2015 and April 2018. Included infants were born at ≤ 28 weeks’ gestation, had PDA-related clinical findings and hemodynamically significant PDA on echocardiography, and received oral ibuprofen or oral paracetamol therapy as the closure treatment.


The most common clinical findings for the diagnosis of PDA were hyperdynamic circulation, tachycardia, and increased oxygen requirement. In total, 43 of the 51 (84.3%) premature infants in the ibuprofen group and 32 of the 36 (88.8%) in the paracetamol group achieved PDA closure after the first treatment cycle. There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups in terms of respiratory morbidity, renal and liver function, intraventricular hemorrhage, necrotizing enterocolitis, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, retinopathy of prematurity, length of hospital stay, and mortality.


Our results indicate that oral paracetamol was as effective as oral ibuprofen in the medical treatment of PDA. In addition, both drugs were considered well-tolerated in terms of effects on kidney, liver, and intestinal functions. Our results demonstrate that oral paracetamol can be used effectively and safely as the first-line treatment of PDA.



The authors acknowledge Manisa Merkezefendi State Hospital for help with data collection.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

B. Karabulut, S. Paytoncu have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this article.


No sources of funding were used to conduct this study or prepare this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pediatrics, Division of NeonatologyIzmir Katip Celebi University Ataturk Training and Research HospitalIzmirTurkey
  2. 2.Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric CardiologyManisa Merkezefendi State HospitalManisaTurkey

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