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J Neurosurg Anesthesiol. 2007 Oct;19(4):235-8.

The analgesic effects of preemptive gabapentin in patients undergoing surgery for brachial plexus injury--a preliminary study.

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  • 1Department of Neuroanaesthesiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India-110029.


There are reports indicating that gabapentin may have place in the treatment of postoperative pain. No study has evaluated the effects of gabapentin on acute, postoperative pain in patients undergoing surgery for brachial plexus injuries. In this preliminary study, we evaluated gabapentin as preemptive analgesic for intraoperative period and during the acute postoperative period at rest and during movement. Twenty consecutive adult patients undergoing surgery for brachial plexus injury were enrolled for the study. Patients randomly received either oral gabapentin 800 mg or placebo capsules 2 hours before surgery. General anesthesia was induced and maintained with propofol, at bispectral index value between 40 and 60. Intraoperative fentanyl and propofol requirements were noted. Postoperatively, all patients were alert and pain was assessed using visual analog scale (VAS) for 24 hours, both during rest and movement. Whenever VAS score was more than 50 or on patients' demand, ketorolac 30 mg was given as rescue analgesic. The demographics, duration of surgery, and propofol consumption in both groups were comparable. Intraoperative and postoperative heart rate and mean blood pressure were also comparable. Significant difference was noted in intraoperative fentanyl consumption (P=0.03), total dose of rescue analgesic (P=0.004), and VAS score at rest and movement, between the 2 groups; less in gabapentin group as compared with placebo group (P=0.01 and 0.04, at rest and movement, respectively). A single oral dose of gabapentin 800 mg, as preemptive analgesic in patients undergoing surgery for brachial plexus injury is found to be an effective adjunct to intraoperative and postoperative pain. Pain is reduced not only at rest but also during movement.

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