Background: To investigate the clinical efficacy of oral clonidine premedication in anesthesia and analgesia in patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC).
Methods: One hundred and ten patients, scheduled for elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy, were recruited for the prospective, randomized, single-blind, comparative study. They were randomly allotted to either of the placebo or clonidine group. Patients of the placebo group (n = 65) were premedicated with oral antacid (alugel hydroxide 300 mg), while those in the clonidine group (n = 45) were premedicated with oral clonidine 150 micrograms prior to anesthesia. The premedication was given 60 to 90 min before the anticipated time of induction of anesthesia. Normocapnia was maintained throughout the perioperative period. Mass spectrometer was used to assess the inspired and expiratory concentrations of isoflurane, the anesthetic used for maintenance of anesthesia. Postoperative pain intensity, sedation scores, adverse events, time to the first dose of postoperative analgesic and cumulative analgesic requirement in 24 hours were recorded. Data were expressed as mean +/- SD.
Results: Patients in the clonidine group displayed greater hemodynamic stability perioperatively and the isoflurane requirement was also reduced (30% less). The postoperative analgesic requirement was less (1.5 +/- 1.3 vs. 2.2 +/- 1.3 dose, P < 0.05) and the time for the first dose of analgesic was prolonged (411 +/- 565 vs. 264 +/- 441 min) in comparison with the placebo group but no statistic difference was found.
Conclusions: Oral clonidine premedication helped to provide perioperative hemodynamic stability, spared the use of isoflurane and reduced the requirement of postoperative analgesia so as to smoother the way to recovery in patients undergoing LC.