Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 1986 May;30(4):283-8.

A double-blind trial of the analgesic properties of physostigmine in postoperative patients.


A double-blind clinical trial of the analgesic and antisedative effects of physostigmine was carried out on surgical patients (n = 60) during the first hours postoperatively. Pethidine and placebo were included for comparison in the double-blind study. The degree of pain and sedation was estimated when the patient demanded analgesics and immediately before the administration of the test drug. The dosage administered i.v. was: physostigmine salicylate 2 mg, placebo = saline, or pethidine chloride 50 mg. After this, the same parameters were recorded at regular intervals. In addition, ventilatory rate, pulse rate, systolic blood pressure and side effects, if any, were noted. The results showed that physostigmine caused analgesia that was of the same magnitude as pethidine during the first 15 min, after which it decreased to the level of the placebo at 30 min. An antisedative or arousal effect was recorded over a somewhat longer time period; after this, there was no difference between placebo and physostigmine. In contrast to pethidine, physostigmine caused no decrease in the ventilatory rate. The pulse rate and systolic blood pressure did not change in any of the groups. Although the durations of the analgesic and antisedative effects of physostigmine were short, the use of this drug may well be preferable to the use of e.g. naloxone when immediate alertness of the patient is wanted without causing an increase in postoperative pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center