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Meperidine (pethidine) versus morphine in acute pain management of opioid-dependent patients

Authors Solhi H, Sanaei-Zadeh H, Solhi S, Nadian Azizi M, Gharibi M, Sadeghi Sedeh B

Received 14 May 2016

Accepted for publication 7 July 2016

Published 31 August 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 57—59

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OAEM.S112803

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Hans-Christoph Pape


Hassan Solhi,1 Hossein Sanaei-Zadeh,2 Sadra Solhi,1 Mohammad Ali Azizi Nadian,1 Morteza Gharibi,3 Bahman Sadeghi Sedeh4

1Department of Internal Medicine, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, 2Emergency Room, Division of Medical Toxicology, Hazrat Ali-Asghar (p) Hospital, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, 3Department of Emergency Medicine, Arak University of Medical Sciences, 4Department of Social Medicine, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran

Abstract: The present study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of morphine and meperidine (pethidine) as pain relief in opioid-dependent patients with acute pain. A total of 122 opioid-dependent patients with acute pain were included in the study. Their pain severity was assessed, using visual analog scale (VAS) scores ranging from 0 to 10. The patients randomly received intravenous morphine (up to 0.15 mg/kg) or meperidine (up to 1.5 mg/kg) for pain control by patient control analgesia (PCA) pump. The clinical opioid withdrawal scale (COWS) was employed for the assessment of withdrawal symptoms. The pain relief and the emergence of withdrawal symptoms were measured at 15, 30, and 60 minutes after drug administration. The patients who received morphine reported a better pain control compared to those who received meperidine (mean ± standard deviation [SD] VAS scores 4.11±1.90 vs 5.85±2.08 at the end of the study; P<0.001). On the other hand, the patients who received meperidine indicated prominent withdrawal symptoms (mean ± SD COWS scores 4.80±2.18 vs. 1.98±0.82 at the end of the study; P<0.001). Our findings revealed that morphine can be recommended in acute pain management of opioid-dependent patients. In addition, emergency physicians should ask their patients about any drug dependence before selecting the appropriate drug for their acute pain management.

Keywords: pain management, meperidine, morphine, opioid dependency, withdrawal symptoms

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