The efficacy of low-dose propofol for intrathecal morphine-induced pruritus

Naganuma, R.; Tsuchida, H.; Okanuma, M.; Iwasaki, H.; Namiki, A.

Masui. Japanese Journal of Anesthesiology 47(5): 562-565


ISSN/ISBN: 0021-4892
PMID: 9621665
Accession: 009574124

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We investigated the efficacy and untoward effects of low doses of propofol for intrathecal morphine-induced pruritus. Twenty gynecological and obstetric surgical patients received spinal anesthesia with 0.5% tetracaine and phenylephrine, as well as 0.2 mg morphine. Seven of them (35%) complained pruritus graded according to the treatment necessary in the postoperative period. Propofol, 10 mg or 20 mg, successfully alleviated the pruritus in 6 patients out of 7. Further treatment was not necessary in 5 of them. One patient was resistant to treatments by 20 mg of propofol and 0.1 mg of naloxone. Three patients transiently fell in sleep even after administering 10 mg of propofol. The authors conclude that low dose propofol is effective in treating intrathecal morphine-induced pruritus, although it may transiently causes hypnosis in postoperative patients.