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Metamizole for Postoperative Pain in Pediatric Patients Undergoing Subarachnoid Anesthesia

Lupu, Mary N. MD, PhD1; Miulescu, Magdalena MD, PhD1,*; Dobre, Michaela MD, PhD2; Vesa, Doina MD, PhD1

doi: 10.1097/MJT.0000000000000951
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Background: Efficient postoperative pain management, which is aimed at decreasing the risk of complications and drug-induced side effects, without affecting the quality of analgesia, is part of today's concept of enhanced recovery after surgery, that is, fast-track surgery.

Study Question: The objective of this study was to determine whether effective management of acute postoperative pain was possible without opioids, while avoiding complications, drug-induced side effects, and suboptimal treatment. Introduction of metamizole, which has regained popularity, into a multimodal analgesia regimen was used, as opioids are not routinely administered.

Study Design: The study was prospective, observational, unrandomized, and without the control group.

Measures and Outcomes: This study was performed in a pediatric hospital with 300 beds and an average of 1700 annual surgical interventions. The study group comprised 378 patients aged 1–17 years, undergoing lower abdominal or limb surgery between June 2016 and June 2017. Children underwent subarachnoid anesthesia combined with intravenous sedation and received not routinely but on demand postoperative opioid analgesia. The pain was self-assessed by the pediatric patient or was assessed by the nurse using pain scores.

Results: Metamizole proved to be safe, efficient, and very well tolerated by children. Multimodal analgesia using acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug with metamizole for the treatment of moderate to severe pain in children undergoing surgery, required a single opioid dose in 292 patients (77.24%) of the 378 in this study.

Conclusions: In pediatric patients undergoing surgery, subarachnoid anesthesia combined with intravenous sedation, multimodal analgesia that includes metamizole, and nonpharmacological complementary therapies in pain management enable avoidance or reduction of opioids to a single dose, without undertreatment. There is also a minimum of anesthesia, accelerated children's recovery and a rapid return to presurgical levels of function.

1Cardiorespiratory and Neuromotor Functional Exploration Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, “Dunarea de Jos” University, Galati, Romania; and

2Biochemical and Genetic Medical Analysis Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, “Dunarea de Jos” University, Galati, Romania.

Address for correspondence: Cardiorespiratory and Neuromotor Functional Exploration Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, “Dunarea de Jos” University, 8 Tecuci St, 800120 Galati, Romania. E-mail: miumagda@gmail.com

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

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