Tramadol-Paracetamol Combination for Postoperative Pain Relief in Elective Single-level Microdisectomy Surgery

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Abstract

Background:

The tramadol and paracetamol combination is used frequently for postoperative pain management. The literature on the use of this combination for vertebral surgery is limited. Our objective was to compare a combination of paracetamol 1 g and a lower dose of tramadol (1 mg/kg: group 1T) with a combination of paracetamol 1 g and a higher dose of tramadol (1.5 mg/kg: group 1.5T) for postoperative pain after microdisectomy surgery. Our main outcome measure was Visual Analogue Scale pain scores for 4 hours postoperatively.

Methods:

This prospective randomized triple-blind clinical trial was conducted at Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi. Ninety-four patients aged between 18 and 50 years scheduled for elective single-level microdisectomy were allocated randomly into 1 of 2 groups. Twenty minutes before the end of the surgery, patients received the study drugs.

Results:

There was no significant demographic difference between groups. None of the patients experienced severe pain (VAS>6). There was no significant difference in the mean pain score between groups. The mean score at 4 hours was 2.17 (1.38) in group 1.5T and 1.74 (1.37) in group 1T. The difference was not statistically significant (P=0.14). In group 1.5T, 13 patients reported having nausea and vomiting compared with 2 patients in group 1T. This was a statistically significant difference (P=0.004). The sedation score was similar between groups.

Conclusions

The combination of low-dose tramadol (1 mg/kg) and paracetamol has comparable analgesia and a decreased incidence of nausea and vomiting compared with the higher dose of tramadol (1.5 mg/kg) and paracetamol combination.

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