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Anaesthesia. 1987 Jul;42(7):704-10.

Gastric emptying and small bowel transit times in volunteers after intravenous morphine and nalbuphine.


Gastric emptying half-times and small intestinal transit times were measured in a double-blind crossover study of 17 volunteers who received an intravenous injection of nalbuphine (5 or 10 mg), morphine (5 mg) or placebo. Both times were monitored using a gamma camera after a radioactive test meal and gastric emptying half-time was calculated. Small intestinal transit time was measured by the appearance of radioactivity in the caecum and also of hydrogen in end tidal air. Gastric emptying was prolonged over placebo by nalbuphine 10 mg, which had more effect than nalbuphine 5 mg or morphine 5 mg; morphine 5 mg had less effect than nalbuphine 5 mg. Small intestinal transit time was prolonged over placebo by nalbuphine 10 mg more than by nalbuphine 5 mg or morphine 5 mg, which had approximately equal effects. In these respects, the potency ratio of nalbuphine appears roughly equivalent to morphine. Small intestinal transit times measured by end tidal hydrogen concentration and gamma camera showed close agreement.

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