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Revista Brasileira de Anestesiologia

Print version ISSN 0034-7094


ROCHA, Quitéria Maria Wanderley; SAKATA, Rioko Kimiko  and  ISSY, Adriana Machado. Low back pain: comparison of epidural analgesia with bupivacaine associated to methylprednisolone, fentanyl and methylprednisolone plus fentanyl. Rev. Bras. Anestesiol. [online]. 2001, vol.51, n.5, pp.407-413. ISSN 0034-7094.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Epidural steroids are used as an alternative for the treatment of low back pain refractory to conservative measures. Opioids exert their analgesic effect through binding to spinal cord receptors and may have an additive effect. This study aimed at evaluating efficacy, side-effects and complications of opioids and steroids associated to local anesthetics in the treatment of acute low back pain caused by herniated disks. METHODS: Participated in this study 45 adult patients with acute herniated disks. G-I received 8 ml of 0.25% bupivacaine with methylprednisolone acetate (80 mg); G-II received 8 ml of 0.25% bupivacaine with fentanyl (100 µg) and G-III received 6 ml of 0.25% bupivacaine with fentanyl (100 µg) and 80 mg methylprednisolone acetate. When needed, a new injection was administered after 1 week and 2 weeks into the herniated disk interspace or close to it. Analgesic effects were evaluated through a verbal scale. RESULTS: At 30 minutes, 6, 12 and 24 hours there were no differences among groups as to pain relief. In days 4, 7 and 14, groups G-I and G-III had better pain relief without statistical differences between them. Group II needed more repeated injections in days 7 (G-I = 33.3%; G-II = 100% and G-III = 33.3%) and 14 (G-I = 6.6%, G-II=86.6% and G-III = 6.6%). Tramadol was more frequently used in G-II. G-I referred headache (1 patient), G-II somnolence (2 patients) and pruritus (1 patient) and G-III pruritus (1 patient) and somnolence (1 patient). CONCLUSIONS: Fentanyl did not improve analgesia when associated either to epidural bupivacaine plus methylprednisolone or to plain bupivacaine.

Keywords : ANALGESICS, Opioids [fentanyl]; DRUGS, Steroids [methylprednisolone]; PAIN, Acute [low back pain].

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