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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 109-113

Epidural levobupivacaine versus a combination of levobupivacaine and dexamethasone in patients receiving epidural analgesia

1 Department of Anesthesiology, Surgical ICU and Pain Management, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Amr Samir Wahdan
Department of Anaesthesia, Surgical ICU and Pain Management, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/joacp.JOACP_87_17

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Background and Aims: The use of dexamethasone as an adjuvant to local anesthetic rarely has been described. Some studies have demonstrated the analgesic effect of local spinal and systemic corticosteroids in combination with bupivacaine. It works by decreasing inflammation and blocking transmission of nociceptive C-fibers and by stopping the ectopic discharge of the nerve. The aim of this randomized controlled trial was to compare the efficacy of epidural levobupivacaine alone versus a combination of levobupivacaine with dexamethasone for labor analgesia. Material and Methods: This prospective double-blind trial included the 60 primigravidas during vaginal delivery with a cervical dilatation ≥4 cm and 50% effacement randomly assigned to one of two groups – Group A (n=30): epidural levobupivacaine 0.125% in normal saline in a total volume of 15 mL and Group B (n=30): epidural levobupivacaine 0.125% in normal saline combined with dexamethasone 4 mg in a total volume of 15 mL. At first request of analgesia, 10 mL of 0.125% levobupivacaine was administrated through epidural catheter. Further analgesia was provided with 8 mL of 0.125% levobupivacaine hourly. Primary outcome measure was the duration of epidural analgesia. Secondary outcome measures include pain score by Visual Analog Scale score before the block and 15 min following it, the total amount of levobupivacaine used, Apgar score and umbilical vein blood gas analysis, maternal satisfaction, and side effects recorded. Results and Conclusion: The duration of epidural analgesia was significantly longer (P < 0.05) upon adding dexamethasone to levobupivacaine. Total epidural levobupivacaine consumption was significantly lower (P = 0.05) in Group B. There were no statistical differences between the two groups regarding hemodynamics, pain score, neonatal outcome, and complications. Epidural dexamethasone plus levobupivacaine prolongs the duration of epidural analgesia during management of labor pain with hemodynamic stability and limited maternal and neonatal adverse effects.

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