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Br J Anaesth. 2008 Nov;101(5):610-7. doi: 10.1093/bja/aen267. Epub 2008 Sep 15.

Nefopam for the prevention of postoperative pain: quantitative systematic review.

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  • 1Division of Anaesthesiology, University Hospitals of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland. marc.evans@hcuge.ch

Abstract

Nefopam, a centrally acting analgesic, has been used in the surgical setting in many countries since the mid-1970s. However, clinical trials provide contflicting results for its analgesic potency. We performed a systematic search (multiple databases, bibliographies, any language, to January 2008) for randomized, placebo-controlled trials of nefopam for the prevention of postoperative pain. Data were combined using classic methods of meta-analyses and were expressed as weighted mean difference (WMD), relative risk (RR), and number needed to treat/harm (NNT/H) with 95% confidence interval (CI). Nine trials (847 adult patients, 359 received nefopam) were included. Nefopam (cumulative doses, 20-160 mg) was given orally or i.v., as single or multiple doses, or as a continuous infusion. Compared with placebo, cumulative 24 h morphine consumption was decreased with nefopam: WMD -13 mg (95% CI -17.9 to -8.15). Pain intensity at 24 h was also decreased: on a 100 mm visual analogue scale, WMD -11.5 mm (95% CI -15.1 to -7.85). The incidence of tachycardia was increased with nefopam (RR 3.12, 95% CI 1.11-8.79; NNH 7), as was the incidence of sweating (RR 4.92, 95% CI 2.0-12.1; NNH 13). There is limited evidence from the published literature that nefopam may be a useful non-opioid analgesic in surgical patients. The analgesic potency seems to be similar to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. However, dose responsiveness and adverse effect profile remain unclear, and the role of nefopam as part of multimodal analgesia needs to be established. Data in children are lacking.

PMID:
18796441
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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