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Effects of clonidine preemptive analgesia on acute postoperative pain in abdominal surgery.

Author(s): Persec J, Persec Z, Bukovic D, Husedzinovic I, Bukovic N, Pavelic L

Affiliation(s): Anesthesiology, Resuscitation and Intensive Care Medicine Clinic, University Hospital "Dubrava", Zagreb, Croatia. jpersec@vip.hr

Publication date & source: 2007-12, Coll Antropol., 31(4):1071-5.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial

Preemptive analgesia refers to blockade of afferent nerve fibers before a painful stimulus, which prevents or reduces subsequent pain even beyond the effect of the block. The aim of the study was to compare the effect of clonidine used before and at the end of operation on pain control in abdominal surgery. A total of 77 patients admitted for colorectal surgery were randomly classified into three groups: epidural clonidine before operation, epidural clonidine at the end of operation, and control group. After the operation on patient demand, analgesia with boluses of epidural morphine was instituted. The parameters of postoperative pain level using VAS score (visual analog scale), sedation and analgesics consumption were determined as outcome measures at 1, 2, 6, and 24 h of the operation. Clonidine administered before operation provided lowest pain scores at 6 and 24 h (p < 0.05). Clonidine administered at the end of operation had low pain scores at 1 and 2 h, with a significant pain breakthrough thereafter (6.93 +/- 1.66 at 6 h and 4.04 +/- 2.39 at 24 h) compared with the group administered clonidine before operation (3.60 +/- 2.94 and 3.71 +/- 1.82). Clonidine administered before operation provided less sedation (p < 0.05) and a significantly lower use of analgesics (p < 0.05). Blockade of nociceptive stimulus using the centrally acting alpha2-adrenergic agonist clonidine before the onset of pain stimulus resulted in reduced pain levels, sedation and analgesic requirement.

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