D'Angelo R, Dean LS, Meister GC, Nelson KE: Neostigmine combined with bupivacaine, clonidine, and sufentanil for spinal labor analgesia. Anesth Analg 93: 6: 1560-4

Department of Anesthesiology, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
Anesthesia & Analgesia (Impact Factor: 3.47). 01/2002; 93(6):1560-4, table of contents. DOI: 10.1097/00000539-200112000-00048
Source: PubMed


We previously found that spinal clonidine prolongs labor analgesia when combined with spinal bupivacaine and sufentanil. We sought to determine whether the addition of spinal neostigmine to these drugs would further enhance labor analgesia. By use of a combined spinal/epidural technique, 36 patients were randomized to receive a hyperbaric spinal injection of bupivacaine 2.5 mg plus clonidine 50 microg and sufentanil 10 microg with or without neostigmine 10 microg. Pain, maternal hemodynamics, fetal heart rate, nausea, pruritus, sedation, motor block, sensory levels to pinprick, and maternal oxygen saturation were assessed at regularly specified intervals after spinal injection until additional analgesia was requested. The duration of spinal analgesia was similar between groups (215 +/- 60 min in the Control group versus 205 +/- 62 min in the Neostigmine group). Likewise, pain scores, the duration of labor, Apgar scores, and side effects were similar between groups except that patients administered neostigmine experienced significantly more nausea and vomiting (53% vs 7%, P = 0.01). We conclude that spinal neostigmine 10 microg produces severe nausea and does not potentiate the duration of spinal analgesia in laboring women from spinal bupivacaine, clonidine, and sufentanil. IMPLICATIONS: Spinal neostigmine 10 microg as an adjunct to spinal bupivacaine, clonidine, and sufentanil produces severe nausea and fails to potentiate analgesia in laboring women.

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    ABSTRACT: In <25 years, intrathecal administration of opioids (i.e. spinal analgesia) has evolved from an experimental model into an important therapy for obstetric analgesia and anaesthesia. A small dose of opioid delivered into the CSF provides almost immediate relief from labour pain with minimal risks to the mother and fetus. Careful attention, and prompt treatment when needed, can ameliorate the adverse effects of fetal bradycardia, respiratory depression and pruritus. The major limitation of intrathecal opioids for labour analgesia is the short duration of effect: 90–180 minutes under ideal circumstances. To address this problem, and to increase flexibility for anaesthesia as well as analgesia, the combined spinal-epidural (CSE) technique was developed. The CSE technique involves injection of drugs into the CSF and placement of an epidural catheter. An intrathecally administered opioid provides a rapid onset of labour analgesia without motor block or significant haemodynamic perturbation. The epidural catheter allows ongoing administration of medications to maintain labour analgesia and provides a means of delivering anaesthesia for operative delivery. This review will focus on intrathecally administered opioids as used as part of CSE analgesia. Considerable research has focused on the optimum dose of opioids when delivered intrathecally, with or without adjuncts, in the CSE technique. Fentanyl and sufentanil, two of the lipophilic synthetic opioids, have emerged as the most useful. Bupivacaine, a long-acting local anaesthetic, is often added to prolong the duration of analgesia, although this tends to increase the likelihood of motor blockade of the lower extremities. Comparisons of the CSE technique with standard epidural practices have shown that both are effective means of providing analgesia during labour. Controversy revolves around the incidence of fetal bradycardia following CSE and whether this phenomenon increases the rate of operative deliveries. The rapid onset of analgesia with intrathecally administered opioids must be balanced against the added risks of durai puncture and considered in the context of the whole duration of labour. Ultimately, the decision to choose a CSE technique depends on the experience of the anaesthesia provider and the local availability of drugs, equipment and monitoring capabilities.
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