Control of shivering under regional anesthesia in obstetric patients with tramadol

Can J Anaesth. 1999 Mar;46(3):253-8. doi: 10.1007/BF03012605.


Purpose: Tramadol in a dose of 1 mg x kg(-1) iv is effective in the treatment of shivering after general anesthesia. The current study aimed to investigate (1) whether tramadol was equally effective for shivering under regional anesthesia in obstetric patients and (2) whether effective treatment could be achieved with lower doses.

Methods: In a randomised, double-blind study, 36 obstetric patients who shivered during Cesarean section under regional anesthesia and who requested anti-shivering treatment were allocated to one of three groups for iv treatment: Group T0.5 received tramadol 0.5 mg x kg(-1) (n = 12), Group T0.25 tramadol 0.25 mg x kg(-1) (n = 13) and Group NS normal saline 0.05 ml x kg(-1) (n = 11). Treatment efficacy was evaluated subjectively by the parturient as no improvement, slight improvement, or marked improvement. The attending anesthesiologist who was blinded also independently noted the time elapsed from treatment to the time shivering subsided. Side effects such as nausea, vomiting or sedation and Apgar scores of the newborn were also noted.

Results: Eighty percent of parturients in Group T0.5 and 92% in Group T0.25 were judged by observers to have shivering controlled compared with 27% in Group NS (P < 0.001). The response rates of Group T0.5 and Group T0.25 were not different. There was no increased incidence of side effects in the treatment groups.

Conclusion: We conclude that tramadol iv was effective in the treatment of intraoperative shivering during regional anesthesia for Cesarean section. There was no demonstrable difference in response rate or incidence of side effects between the two doses of 0.5 mg x kg(-1) and 0.25 mg x kg(-1).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use*
  • Anesthesia, Conduction*
  • Anesthesia, Obstetrical*
  • Cesarean Section
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Shivering / drug effects*
  • Tramadol / therapeutic use*


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Tramadol