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Current Research

Determining the Minimum Celecocxib Blood and Brain Concentration for Pain Relief in Children

The drug celecoxib is often administered following surgery for its anti-inflammatory and pain-reduction properties and ability to preserve blood clot formation. Currently, how the drug is handled by the body and the level required to provide pain-relief are known for adults, but not for children. There is no information on how celecoxib is handled by the brain or levels required for pain relief. CHEO-OCTC researchers led by Dr. Kimmo Murto will be conducting a study to determine how celecoxib is handled by the body and what blood and brain levels are required to provide pain relief in children.
Dosing will be based on existing work done buy the team that determined the minimum effective dose for pain relief in children in a surgical setting. The study involves 65 children aged 2-17, with leukemia undergoing a therapeutic lower back spinal fluid tap (i.e. lumbar puncture) to inject a chemotherapy drug. Two doses of celecoxib will be tested; prior to the lumber puncture half of the participants will receive a standard dose, while the other half will receive a two-fold higher dose. Blood and lumbar puncture fluid will be drawn and lower back pain assessed to measure celecoxib blood/brain levels and associated pain-relief, respectively. The results of the study will allow clinicians to appropriately dose celecoxib to treat pain in children and inform future research to treat conditions were it has been found to be a useful adjunct including depression, seizures, brain tumors and spinal muscular atrophy.
This study is estimated to be completed by December 2018. For more information, please contact Dr. Kimmo Murto at
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