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n South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology - The postoperative analgesic effects of low-dose gabapentin in patients undergoing abdominal hysterectomy : research article
Objective. Clinical studies have suggested that gabapentin may produce analgesia in postoperative patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the analgesic effects of low-dose gabapentin administered during the first 24 hours after abdominal hysterectomy.
Methods. A prospective, double-blind, randomised study was conducted on 98 patients undergoing abdominal hysterectomy. The patients were divided into two groups: 49 patients received oral gabapentin 400 mg 1 hour before surgery, followed by a further 100 mg 8, 16 and 24 hours after the initial dose, and 49 received placebo. Morphine (5 mg) was used for rescue analgesia. Pain intensity was self-evaluated using a 100 mm visual analogue scale. Data were analysed using SPSS software version 15.0, and the level of significance was set at p< 0.05.
Results. Compared with the placebo group, patients who received gabapentin perceived a significant reduction in postoperative pain in the first hours after hysterectomy (2 hours: 38.9±18.1 v. 74.9±15.2, p<0.05; 6 hours: 37.9±20.8 v. 76.6±22.4, p<0.05; 12 hours: 35.8±24.4 v. 79.7±25.7, p<0.05; 18 hours: 36.3±19.1 v. 71.7±20.7, p<0.05; 24 hours: 40.1±14.5 v. 52.7±21.1, p<0.05). Opioid requirements 2 hours after surgery were also significantly lower in the gabapentin group than in the placebo group (21 v. 40 patients, p<0.05). No side-effects were reported in either group.
Conclusions. Low-dose gabapentin can reduce opioid requirements after abdominal hysterectomy, and increase patient comfort postoperatively.
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