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Asian Spine J. 2014 Aug;8(4):400-4. doi: 10.4184/asj.2014.8.4.400. Epub 2014 Aug 19.

The effect of intravenous paracetamol on postoperative pain after lumbar discectomy.

Author information

1
Department of Neurosurgery, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
2
Department of Anesthesiology, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN:

A randomized, double-blinded controlled trial.

PURPOSE:

Postoperative pain relief especially using analgesic drugs with minimal side effects has considerable clinical importance. This study aimed to examine the effect of intravenous paracetamol on pain relief after lumbar discectomy as a major surgery.

OVERVIEW OF LITERATURE:

Patients undergoing lumbar discectomy experience a high degree of lumbar pain. Some authors emphasize the use of intravenous paracetamol to improve postoperative pain and increase patients' satisfaction following this surgery.

METHODS:

Fifty-two patients scheduled for lumbar discectomy were randomly allocated into two groups: a group that received intravenous paracetamol (1 g/100 mL normal saline) within the last 20 minutes of surgery as the case group (n=24) and a group that received sodium chloride 0.9% 100 mL as the control group (n=28). Postoperative pain was assessed at 1, 6, 12, 18, and 24 hours after surgery by a visual analogue scale (VAS). The dosage of the administered opioid (morphine), as well as drug-related side effects within the first 24 hours after surgery were also recorded.

RESULTS:

The mean VAS score was significantly lower in the paracetamol group than the controls for all of the assessed time points. Although the dose of the administered morphine was numerically lower in the paracetamol group, this difference was not statistically significant (5.53±4.49 mL vs. 7.85±4.17 mL).

CONCLUSIONS:

Intravenous paracetamol as a non-opioid analgesic can relieve postoperative pain in patients undergoing lumbar discectomy; however, its use alone may not represent the best regimen for reducing the needed dose of opioids after operation.

KEYWORDS:

Analgesia; Lumbar discectomy; Morphine; Pain; Paracetamol

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