A comparison among nalbuphine, meperidine, and placebo for treating postanesthetic shivering

Anesth Analg. 1999 Mar;88(3):686-9. doi: 10.1097/00000539-199903000-00041.


Postanesthetic shivering (PS) is distressing for patients and may induce a variety of complications. In this prospective, double-blinded, randomized study, we evaluated the value of nalbuphine, compared with meperidine and saline, for treating PS. Ninety adult patients were included in the study. Group 1 (n = 30) received i.v. nalbuphine 0.08 mg/kg, Group 2 (n = 30) received i.v. meperidine 0.4 mg/kg, and Group 3 (n = 30) received i.v. saline. Treatment that stopped shivering was considered to have been successful. The results demonstrated that, 5 min after treatment, both nalbuphine and meperidine provided a rapid and potent anti-shivering effect on PS, with high response rates of 80% and 83%, compared with those of saline (0%) (P < 0.01). Thirty minutes after injection, the response rates of nalbuphine and meperidine were 90% and 93%, respectively, compared with 17% in the saline group (P < 0.01). The differences between nalbuphine and meperidine were not significant. We conclude that nalbuphine may be an alternative to meperidine for treating PS.

Implications: We evaluated nalbuphine versus meperidine and saline for treating postanesthetic shivering. Our results demonstrate that both nalbuphine and meperidine provide a similar rapid and potent anti-shivering effect. Nalbuphine may be an alternative to meperidine for treating postanesthetic shivering.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use*
  • Anesthesia, General / adverse effects*
  • Body Temperature / drug effects
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meperidine / therapeutic use*
  • Nalbuphine / therapeutic use*
  • Narcotic Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Placebos
  • Prospective Studies
  • Shivering / drug effects*


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Placebos
  • Meperidine
  • Nalbuphine