Year : 2016  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 322-327

Efficacy of epidural local anesthetic and dexamethasone in providing postoperative analgesia: A meta-analysis

Department of Anaesthesiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
S Maitra
Department of Anaesthesiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1658-354X.179096

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Background: Dexamethasone is a potent anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antiemetic drug. Individual randomized controlled trials found a possible benefit of epidural dexamethasone. The purpose of this meta-analysis is to estimate the benefit of epidural dexamethasone on postoperative pain and opioid consumption and to formulate a recommendation for evidence-based practice. Materials and Methods: Prospective, randomized controlled trials comparing the analgesic efficacy of epidural local anesthetic and dexamethasone combination, with local anesthetic alone for postoperative pain management after abdominal surgery, were planned to be included in this meta-analysis. PubMed, PubMed Central, Scopus, and Central Register of Clinical Trials of the Cochrane Collaboration (CENTRAL) databases were searched for eligible controlled trials using the following search words: "Epidural," "dexamethasone," and "postoperative pain," until February 20, 2015. Results: Data from five randomized control trials have been included in this meta-analysis. Epidural dexamethasone significantly decreased postoperative morphine consumption (mean difference −7.89 mg; 95% confidence interval [CI]: −11.66 to −3.71) and number of patients required postoperative rescue analgesic boluses (risk ratio: 0.51; 95% CI: 0.41-0.63). Conclusion: The present data shows that the addition of dexamethasone to local anesthetic in epidural is beneficial for postoperative pain management.

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