Prophylactic Intravenous Acetaminophen in Extremely Premature Infants: Minimum Effective Dose Research by Bayesian Approach

Pediatr Drugs (2023).

Naïm Bouazza, Gilles Cambonie, Cyril Flamant, Aline Rideau, Manon Tauzin, Juliana Patkai, Géraldine Gascoin, Mirka Lumia, Outi Aikio, Gabrielle Lui, Léo Froelicher Bournaud, Aisling Walsh-Papageorgiou, Marine Tortigue, Alban-Elouen Baruteau, Jaana Kallio, Mikko Hallman, Alpha Diallo, Léa Levoyer, Jean-Marc Treluyer & Jean-Christophe Roze

DOI : 10.1007/s40272-023-00602-w



Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in preterm infants is associated with increased morbidities and mortality. Prophylactic treatment with cyclooxygenase inhibitors, as indomethacin or ibuprofen, failed to demonstrate significant clinical benefits. Acetaminophen may represent an alternative treatment option.


This study evaluated the minimum effective dose of prophylactic acetaminophen to close the ductus and assessed the safety and tolerability profile in extremely preterm infants at 23–26 weeks of gestation.


A dose finding trial with Bayesian continual reassessment method was performed in a multicenter study with premature infants hospitalized in neonatal intensive care unit. Infants of 23–26 weeks of gestation and post-natal age ≤ 12 h were enrolled. Four intravenous acetaminophen dose levels were predefined. The primary outcome was the ductus arteriosus closing at two consecutive echocardiographies or at day 7. The main secondary objectives included the safety of acetaminophen on hemodynamics and biological hepatic function.


A total of 29 patients were analyzed sequentially for the primary analysis with 20 infants assigned to the first dose level followed by 9 infants to the second dose level. No further dose level increase was necessary. The posterior probabilities of success, estimated from the Bayesian logistic model, were 46.1% [95% probability interval (PI), 24.9–63.9] and 67.6% (95% PI, 51.5–77.9) for dose level 1 and 2, respectively. A closing or closed pattern was observed among 19 patients at the end of treatment [65.5% (95% confidence interval (CI), 45.7–82.0)]. No change in alanine aminotransferase values was observed during treatment. A significant decrease in aspartate aminotransferase values was observed with postnatal age. No change in systolic and diastolic blood pressures was observed during treatment.


Minimum effective dose to close the ductus was 25 mg/kg loading dose then 10 mg/kg/6 h for 5 days in extremely preterm infants. Acetaminophen was well tolerated in this study following these doses.

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