Effects of Oral Gabapentin, Local Bupivacaine and Intravenous Pethidine on Post Tonsillectomy Pain

Document Type: Original


1 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Kashani Hospital, Shahrekod University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran.

2 Department of Anesthesiology, Kashani Hospital, Shahrekod University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran.


Tonsillectomy is one of the most common surgeries performed worldwide. Post-operative pain arising from tonsillectomy is one of the earliest complications that can postpone oral nutrition and increase the hospitalization period. Administration of opioids via injection is usually preferred to relive pain in these patients. However, the side effects of this approach prompted us to seek alternative treatments. In this study, the effectiveness of oral gabapentin is compared with an intravenous (IV) injection of pethidine and a local injection of bupivacaine in the control of pain after tonsillectomy.
Materials and Methods:
This clinical trial was performed on 7-15 year-old patients who were candidates for tonsillectomy at Shahrekord Kashani hospital from 2012–2013. The patients were divided into three groups at random. Group 1 was give 20 mg/kg oral gabapentin 1 hour before anesthesia. In Group 2, 2.5 ml bupivacaine 0.25% was injected into each tonsil bed by a surgeon. In Group 3,1 mg/kg pethidine was injected intravenously after intubation. To assess post-operative pain, the Oucher scale was used in recovery as well as 3,6,12, and 24 hours after surgery.
The pain score was lowest in the gabapentin group and highest in the bupivacaine group during the study. The pain score in the gabapentin group was significantly lower than that in the bupivacaine group (P<0.05). No statistically significant difference was found between the pain score of the Pethidine group and that of the Bupivacaine group (P>0.05).
Gabapentin, with its antihyperalgesic properties and other unknown properties, is a convenient drug for controlling pain following tonsillectomy.


Main Subjects

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