Double-Blind Parallel Comparison of Multiple Doses of Apraclonidine, Clonidine, and Placebo Administered Intra-Articularly to Patients Undergoing Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

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This clinical study assessed and compared the potential analgesic and adverse effect of IA apraclonidine with IA clonidine.


Eighty patients scheduled for arthroscopic knee surgery under general anesthesia were randomized to receive, in a double-blind manner, either IA normal saline (group 1), 50 μg IA apraclonidine (group 2), 150 μg IA apraclonidine (group 3), or 150 μg IA clonidine (group 4), all in a volume of 20 mL subsequent to surgery. Visual analog pain scores (VAS), the duration of analgesia as defined by the time to first demand for supplemental analgesics, the subsequent 24-hour consumption of postoperative supplementary analgesics, and patient adverse effects were evaluated.


The patients from groups 3 and 4 demonstrated a longer duration of analgesia and used fewer analgesics in the first postoperative 24 hour period compared with group 1 and 2 patients (P < 0.05). The VAS scores corresponding to the periods 1, 2, and 4 hours postoperatively were significantly lower for group 3 than for group 1 patients. The VAS scores at 1 and 4 hours postoperatively were also lower for group 3 than for group 2 patients (P < 0.05). There was no significant difference in the incidence of side effects among the 4 groups.


The IA application of 150 μg apraclonidine and 150 μg clonidine provide similar degree of postoperative analgesia following knee arthroscopic surgery without any difference in adverse events.

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