Purpose: A prospective, randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study was undertaken to evaluate the efficacy of a single preoperative dose of dexamethasone, in different dosages, in providing postoperative analgesia in patients undergoing total laparoscopic hysterectomy (TLH).
Method: The study included 55 patients randomly divided into three groups. Patients in Groups P, D4, and D8 received saline, 4, and 8 mg dexamethasone, respectively, intravenously, 2 h before induction.
Results: The time to first analgesic requirement was significantly delayed in patients in the D8 group compared with the D4 group (P = 0.01) and placebo (P = 0.01). Total postoperative fentanyl consumption was significantly less in patients in the D8 group compared with the D4 group (P = 0.01) and placebo (P = 0.01). Use of 8 mg dexamethasone resulted in a 99.3 mcg decrease in total 24-h fentanyl consumption. Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) was significantly less in the D8 group with a complete response rate (no emetic episodes and no rescue medication for 24 h) of 36.8% compared with the placebo group in which all the patients had PONV. No adverse effects were observed in any group.
Conclusion: Dexamethasone at a dose of 8 mg given intravenously 2 h before induction, delays patient request for analgesia and reduces total fentanyl consumption and PONV in patients undergoing TLH.