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Pain. 1997 Sep;72(3):367-74.

Lorazepam as an adjunct to opioid analgesics in the treatment of burn pain.

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Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, USA.


Benzodiazepines are commonly used to supplement opioid analgesics in treating procedural pain during the treatment of major burn injuries. To date, no study has investigated whether benzodiazepines actually have an analgesic or anxiolytic effect in such circumstances. Seventy-nine patients admitted to a major regional burn center were randomly assigned to groups that received 1 mg of lorazepam or a placebo in addition to their standard opioid analgesics. A strong analgesic effect of lorazepam was not observed when treatment groups were compared independent of their baseline pain ratings. However when patients who had high baseline pain were compared, lorazepam resulted in a significant reduction in pain ratings (adjusted post-treatment VAS mean score = 54.28; adjusted control VAS mean score = 69.06). Trait anxiety did not predict those patients who had an analgesic effect with lorazepam, but state anxiety did prove to be a covariate with visual analogue score decreases in pain reports.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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