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Can J Anaesth. 2015 Jul;62(7):816-29. doi: 10.1007/s12630-015-0368-1. Epub 2015 Apr 8.

Efficacy of dexmedetomidine on postoperative shivering: a meta-analysis of clinical trials.

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Jiangsu Province Key Laboratory of Anesthesiology, Xuzhou Medical College, Xuzhou, People's Republic of China.



Shivering is a frequent complication in the postoperative period. The aim of the current meta-analysis was to assess the efficacy of dexmedetomidine on postoperative shivering.


Two researchers independently searched PubMed, EMBASE and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials for controlled clinical trials. The meta-analysis was performed by Review Manager.


Thirty-nine trials with 2,478 patients were included in this meta-analysis. Dexmedetomidine reduced postoperative shivering compared with placebo (risk ratio [RR] = 0.26; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.20 to 0.34), with a minimum effective dose of 0.5 µg·kg(-1) (RR = 0.36; 95% CI: 0.21 to 0.60). The anti-shivering effect can be achieved both intravenously and epidurally when administered within two hours prior to the end of surgery. The efficacy of dexmedetomidine was similar to widely used anti-shivering agents, such as fentanyl, meperidine, tramadol, clonidine and so on; however, dexmedetomidine may increase the incidence of sedation, hypotension, bradycardia and dry mouth.


The present meta-analysis indicates that dexmedetomidine shows superiority over placebo, but not over other anti-shivering agents. Therefore, considering its high price and potential adverse events, dexmedetomidine may not be appropriate solely for the purpose of the prevention of postoperative shivering.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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