Dexmedetomidine has been shown to have an analgesic effect. However, no consensus was reached in previous studies.
Electronic databases such as PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Central were searched for relevant randomized controlled trials. The relative risk and weighted mean difference (WMD) were used to analyze the outcomes. Random-effects model was used for meta-analysis.
Compared with the normal saline group, patients using DEX showed a significantly decreased pain intensity within 6 hours [WMD=−0.93; 95% confidence interval (CI), −1.34 to −0.53) and at 24 hours after surgery (WMD=−0.47; 95% CI, −0.83 to −0.11). DEX usage significantly reduced the cumulative opioids consumption at 24 hours after surgery (WMD=−6.76; 95% CI, −10.16 to −3.35), decreased the rescue opioids consumption in postanesthesia care unit (WMD=−3.11; 95% CI, −5.20 to −1.03), reduced the risk of rescue analgesics (relative risk=0.49; 95% CI, 0.33-0.71), and the interval to first rescue analgesia was prolonged (WMD=34.93; 95% CI, 20.27-49.59).
Intravenous DEX effectively relieved the pain intensity, extended the pain-free period, and decreased the consumption of opioids during postoperative recovery of adults in general anesthesia.
Departments of *Anesthesiology
†Gynecologic Oncology, Shandong Cancer Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, Jinan City, China
Supported by the Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences Foundation of China, Shandong, China (2015-37) and Shandong Medicine and Health Science Technology Development Foundation of China, Shandong, China (2015WS0153). The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Reprints: Xiuqin Wang, PhD, Department of Anesthesiology, Shandong Cancer Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, Jinan City, 250117 China (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Received September 16, 2017
Received in revised form April 26, 2018
Accepted May 5, 2018