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Study of the prophylactic effect of droperidol, alizapride, propofol and promethazine on spinal morphine-induced pruritus.

Author(s): Horta ML, Morejon LC, da Cruz AW, Dos Santos GR, Welling LC, Terhorst L, Costa RC, Alam RU

Affiliation(s): Department of Anaesthesiology, Hospital Universitario Sao Francisco de Paula da UCPEL, Pelotas, RS, Brazil. marciolhorta@uol.com.br

Publication date & source: 2006-06, Br J Anaesth., 96(6):796-800. Epub 2006 Apr 5.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial

BACKGROUND: We have compared the use of alizapride, propofol, droperidol and promethazine for the prevention of spinal morphine-induced pruritus. METHODS: Three hundred ASA I or II women undergoing Caesarean section under spinal anaesthesia, in which morphine 0.2 mg was added to a local anaesthetic, were assigned randomly to receive i.v., in the operating room, just after delivery of the baby, alizapride 100 mg, propofol 20 mg, droperidol 1.25 mg, promethazine 50 mg or saline 2 ml (control group). In the postoperative period, the women were assessed for pruritus (absent, mild, moderate or severe) or other untoward symptoms by blinded observers. We used 95% confidence limits (95% CI) for the cumulative incidence of moderate and severe pruritus to compare the groups, and the NNT and 95% CI to compare droperidol, propofol and alizapride as for their effectiveness in preventing pruritus. For other untoward effects, the chi(2)-test was used, results being considered significant when P<0.05. RESULTS: The droperidol, propofol and alizapride groups had significantly lower incidences of pruritus compared with the control and promethazine groups, while the incidence of pruritus was similar among the patients assigned to the promethazine and control groups. As for the prevention of moderate and severe pruritus, droperidol had the lowest NNT (3.52; 95% CI: 3.37-3.67), followed by propofol (4.61; 95% CI: 4.45-4.77) and alizapride (5.43; 95% CI: 5.27-5.59). As for untoward effects, droperidol and promethazine increased the incidence of somnolence, which seemed more severe with promethazine. Otherwise, there were no differences between the groups. CONCLUSION: Droperidol, propofol and alizapride, in a decreasing order of effectiveness in the doses used in this study, reduced the incidence of pruritus induced by the use of morphine 0.2 mg intrathecally. On the other hand, promethazine 50 mg was shown to be ineffective.

Page last updated: 2006-11-04

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