Comparison of Patient-Controlled Analgesia Using Morphine With and Without Paracetamol in Postoperative Pain Control

Document Type: Original Article


Cardiac Anesthesia Research Center, Imam Reza Hospital, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Science, Mashhad, Iran


Introduction: Postoperative pain control plays a pivotal role in reducing postoperative complications, hospitality time, and increasing satisfaction. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of paracetamol on the pain and complications caused by gastrectomy.
Materials and Methods: This randomized prospective study was conducted on 60 patients (two same group) who were candidate for gastrectomy in Imam Reza Hospital of Mashhad, Iran during August-September 2015. The first group received Patient-Controlled Analgesia (PCA) with morphine only, and in the second group, paracetamol (1 gram) infused with morphine every six hours. Level of pain, morphine intake, and side effects were evaluated in both groups.
Results:No significant difference was observed in the four-scale score of pain in the patients (morphine group: 0.64±0.1, morphine-paracetamol group: 0.6±0.1) (P=0.72). During the first 24 hours after the surgery, the morphine group had lower consciousness level (2.3±0.2) compared to the morphine-paracetamol group (1.7±0.3) (P=0.001). Moreover, infusion of paracetamol with morphine to control the pain after gastrectomy reduced the need for morphine analgesia. Morphine intake was 21.4±7.7 in morphine group, while it was 14.3±5.8 in the morphine-paracetamol group within the first 24 hours after the surgery (P=0.001). However, this level had no significant effect on postoperative complications such as itching, nausea, and arterial oxygen saturation.
Conclusion: According to the results of this study, intravenous paracetamol (one gram) administered every six hours with PCA using morphine could decrease morphine intake leading to better consciousness level during the first 24 hours after gastrectomy without further complications.