Subhypnotic doses of propofol relieve pruritus induced by epidural and intrathecal morphine

Borgeat, A.; Wilder-Smith, O.H.; Saiah, M.; Rifat, K.

Anesthesiology 76(4): 510-512


ISSN/ISBN: 0003-3022
PMID: 1550275
DOI: 10.1097/00000542-199204000-00004
Accession: 007842021

Download citation:  

Article/Abstract emailed within 0-6 h
Payments are secure & encrypted
Powered by Stripe
Powered by PayPal

We investigated the efficacy of subhypnotic doses of propofol for spinal morphine-induced pruritus in a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Fifty patients, ASA physical status 1-3, with spinal morphine-induced pruritus were allocated to receive either 1 ml propofol (10 mg) or 1 ml placebo (Intralipid) intravenously after gynecologic, orthopedic, thoracic, or gastrointestinal surgery. In the absence of a positive response, a second drug treatment was given 5 min later. The persistence of pruritus 5 min after the second treatment dose was considered a treatment failure. All failures then received, in an open fashion, a supplementary dose of propofol (10 mg) and were reevaluated 5 min later. Both groups were well matched. The success rate was significantly greater in the propofol group (84%) than in the placebo (16%) group (P less than 0.05). Ninety percent of the treatment failures in the placebo group were successfully treated by a supplementary dose of 10 mg propofol. Eight percent of the patients (4% in each group) were resistant to all treatments, including naloxone 0.08 mg intravenously. Three patients had a slight increase in sedation in the propofol group versus none in control (not significant). The beneficial effect of treatment was longer than 60 min in 85% of patients in the propofol group and in 100% of the controls (not significant). These results suggest that propofol in a subhypnotic dose is an efficient drug treatment for spinal morphine-induced pruritus. At the dose administered (10 mg), side effects were rare and minor.