The analgesic effects of capsicum plaster at the Zusanli point after abdominal hysterectomy

Anesth Analg. 2006 Sep;103(3):709-13. doi: 10.1213/01.ane.0000228864.74691.9f.


Background: Acupuncture has been used to supplement opioid analgesics for postoperative pain control. We designed this double-blind, sham-controlled study to assess the effectiveness of capsicum plaster (PAS) at Zusanli (ST-36) acupoints on postoperative opioid analgesic requirement, side effects, and recovery profile.

Methods: Ninety women undergoing total abdominal hysterectomy were randomly assigned to 3 treatment regimens (n = 30 each): group Zusanli = PAS at Zusanli acupoints, group sham = PAS at the nonacupoints on the shoulders, and group control = placebo tape at Zusanli acupoints. The PAS was applied before induction of anesthesia and maintained for 8 h per day for 3 postoperative days.

Results: The total amount of morphine administered in the first 24 h after the operation was significantly decreased in group Zusanli (31.5 +/- 6.8 mL) compared with groups control (44.3 +/- 10.1 mL) and sham (44.6 +/- 10.4 mL) (P < 0.01). The incidence of postoperative side effects and the use of rescue antiemetics during the 72 h after surgery were significantly reduced in group Zusanli compared with other groups (P < 0.01).

Conclusion: PAS at Zusanli points decreased the postoperative opioid requirement and opioid-related side effects of patients undergoing abdominal hysterectomy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Points
  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Analgesics / pharmacology*
  • Capsicum
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Morphine / pharmacology
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy*
  • Placebos
  • Postoperative Period


  • Analgesics
  • Placebos
  • Morphine