Journal of Anesthesia

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 138–144 | Cite as

Continuous epidural infusion for postoperative pain relief: A comparison of three regimens

  • Shinichi Sakura
  • Hiroshi Uchida
  • Yoji Saito
  • Makoto Asano
  • Yoshihiro Kosaka
Original Articles


We evaluated the postoperative pain relief and side-effects of continuous epidural infusion of three analgesic regimens following major thoracic and/or abdominal surgery. One hundred and twenty patients were randomly divided into three treatment groups: (1) 0.25% or 0.5% bupivacaine at a rate of 3–7 ml·hr−1, (2) 0.01% morphine at a rate of 1–2 ml·hr−1, (3) a combination of 0.125% or 0.25% bupivacaine and 0.0025% or 0.005% morphine at a rate of 2–4 ml·hr−1. The study continued for the first 48 postoperative hours. The effect of pain relief was evaluated by assessment of the further requirement for parenteral analgesics. Sixty-four percent of the patients given bupivacaine, 56% of the patients given morphine and 80% of the patients given the combination required no supplemental analgesics. Continuous epidural infusion of bupivacaine was associated with hypotension (21%) and with numbness and weakness of hands or legs (18%). Continuous epidural infusion of morphine was associated with pruritus (18%) and with peristaltic depression (12%). The combination regimen was associated with pruritus (17%) and with drowsiness (14%). We conclude that the combination of bupivacaine and morphine significantly provides superior analgesia with less deleterious complications compared with either bupivacaine or morphine alone.

Key words

postoperative pain epidural morphine bupivacaine 


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Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shinichi Sakura
    • 1
  • Hiroshi Uchida
    • 1
  • Yoji Saito
    • 1
  • Makoto Asano
    • 1
  • Yoshihiro Kosaka
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiologyShimane Medical UniversityIzumoJapan

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