Bacteriostatic Saline Containing Benzyl Alcohol Decreases the Pain Associated with the Injection of Propofol

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Abstract

Bacteriostatic saline is a physiological saline solution containing the bacteriostatic agent benzyl alcohol as a 0.9% solution. It is used mostly for diluting and dissolving drugs for IV injection and as a flush for intravascular catheters. It also has local anesthetic properties. We studied its efficacy in decreasing the pain associated with IV administration of propofol and compared it with mixing lidocaine with propofol. One-hundred-twenty patients were randomly allocated into three groups. All patients received propofol 50 mg. The benzyl alcohol group received bacteriostatic saline as a preinjection, and the lidocaine group received propofol containing lidocaine. The placebo group did not receive bacteriostatic saline or lidocaine. Fifteen of 39 patients (38%) in the benzyl alcohol group complained of pain on injection compared to 33 of 39 (84%) in the placebo group and 22 of 42 (52%) in the lidocaine group. Differences were significant between the benzyl alcohol and placebo groups (P < 0.01) and the lidocaine and placebo groups (P < 0.01). Preinjection with bacteriostatic saline decreases the incidence of pain associated with IV administration of propofol and is comparable to that of mixing lidocaine with propofol.

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