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Ann Fr Anesth Reanim. 1998;17(6):622-32.

[Prevention of postoperative pain].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Département d'anesthésie-réanimation, hôpital Bicêtre, France.


The pre-emptive analgesia concept suggests that pre-administration of analgesics may enhance the efficacy of these drugs. This review has selected the data from the literature according to two types of methodological criteria: Sackett's criteria, and those specific of pre-emptive analgesia studies. Infiltration, spinal and peripheral nerve blocks using local anaesthetic drugs do not seem to produce pre-emptive analgesia. The few positive results have limited clinical significance. The results concerning opioids are contradictory and the clinical significance is limited. Preoperative oral administration of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) offers no benefit. Intravenous pre-administration has a limited advantage, but enhances perioperative bleeding. Ketamine, an NMDA receptor antagonist, may have some pre-emptive analgesic properties according to the few studies available. In conclusion, pre-administration of analgesic drugs represents the usual strategy for the anaesthesiologist (spinal or peripheral block, infiltration, opioids). In other cases (NSAIDs, ketamine), pre-administration represents a change in usual practice. This is not justified for NSAIDs; NMDA receptor antagonists may offer an interesting research area. Data concerning pre-emptive analgesia for chronic pain syndrome such as phantom limb pain are quite limited.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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