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Anesth Analg. 1999 Apr;88(4):831-5.

A dose-response study of intravenous regional anesthesia with meperidine.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, Massachusetts 01199, USA.


Intravenous regional anesthesia (IVRA) with meperidine in doses > or = 100 mg provides effective postoperative analgesia. However, this technique is associated with excessive opioid-related side effects, which limit its clinical usefulness. The minimal dose of meperidine that is effective for IVRA has yet to be established. We added 0, 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 mg of meperidine to 0.5% lidocaine IVRA for either carpal tunnel or tenolysis surgery. Pain and sedation scores and the incidence of side effects were assessed in the postanesthesia care unit. The duration of analgesia, defined as the time to first request for pain medications, and use of acetaminophen/codeine (T3) tablets were measured. The duration of analgesia increased, in a dose-dependent manner, in the groups that received 0, 10, 20, and 30 mg of meperidine. There was no significant difference in the duration of analgesia for patients receiving > or = 30 mg of meperidine. T3 use was similar in the groups that received 0, 10, and 20 mg of meperidine and in the groups that received 30, 40, and 50 mg. T3 use was significantly lower in the larger dose groups. The incidence of sedation and of all other side effects was significantly higher in the groups that received 30-50 mg of meperidine compared with those that received smaller doses. We conclude that doses of meperidine large enough to produce the most effective postoperative analgesia with IVRA lidocaine causes a significant incidence of side effects, thus limiting its clinical usefulness.


Meperidine may be a useful addition to 0.5% lidocaine for i.v. regional anesthesia. We showed that 30 mg is the optimal dose of meperidine with respect to postoperative analgesia. However, this dose caused a significant incidence of sedation, dizziness, and postoperative nausea and vomiting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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