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Postoperative Analgesia and Antiemetic Efficacy After Subarachnoid Neostigmine in Orthopedic Surgery
  1. G. R. Lauretti, M.D., M.Sc., Ph.D. and
  2. M. P. Reis, M.D., Ph.D.
  1. Discipline of Anesthesiology, Department of Surgery, Orthopedics, and Traumatology, Hospital das Clinicas, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil
  1. Reprint requests: G. R. Lauretti, M.D., M.Sc., Ph.D., rua Mantiqueira, 460; Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil, 14025/600.


Background and Objectives The efficacy of operatively administered spinal neostigmine to provide analgesia and that of different antiemetics to prevent neostigmine-related nausea and vomiting were evaluated in patients undergoing tibial or ankle reconstruction.

Methods One hundred patients were randomized to five groups (n = 20). The intravenous antiemetic test drug (except propofol) was given as premedication in the holding room, after intravenous midazolam, 0.05 mg/kg. The subarachnoid drugs administered were 20 mg bupivacaine (0.5%) in conjunction with 100 μg neostigmine, except for the saline group (S group), which received bupivacaine and saline. The S group, the neostigmine group (N group), and the propofol group (P group) received saline as the intravenous test drug. The droperidol group (D group) received intravenous droperidol 0.5 mg, and the metoclopramide group (M group) received intravenous metoclopramide 10 mg. The P group had a continuous intravenous propofol infusion (2-4 mg/kg/hr), started 10 minutes after the spinal injection. Nausea, emetic episodes, and the need for analgesic (disclofenac) or antiemetic medication were recorded for the first 24 hours following surgery and scored by a 10-cm visual analog scale (VAS).

Results Subarachnoid neostigmine 100 μg did not affect subarachnoid bupivacaine analgesia as measured by time to first rescue analgesic in most patients, but it decreased the overall 24-hour visual analog scale (VAS) scores and the need for postoperative analgesics in 24 hours (P < .001). The incidence of intraoperative nausea and vomiting was higher in the N, D, and M groups than in the S group (P < .001). Following surgery, the 3-hour VAS assessment for emesis was higher for the N, P, and M groups than for the S group (P < .05). The overall 24-hour assessment was similar among groups.

Conclusions Subarachnoid neostigmine reduced postoperative pain scores and analgesic requirements. Whether it prolonged the duration of action of diclofenac or enhanced the mechanisms involved in spinal analgesia cannot be determined from these data. Although propofol and droperidol appeared to be more effective during and after surgery, respectively, all neostigmine groups were associated with a high consumption of antiemetics.

  • neostigmine
  • antiemetics
  • droperidol
  • metoclopramide
  • propofol
  • spinal anesthesia

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