Labour Analgesia When Epidural Is Not a Choice: Tramadol versus Pentazocine

ISRN Obstet Gynecol. 2014 Apr 7;2014:930349. doi: 10.1155/2014/930349. eCollection 2014.


Background. Parenteral opioids, thus, are still popular for pain relief in labor in many countries throughout the world. Aim. To evaluate and compare the efficacy of intramuscular tramadol and pentazocine in the first stage of labor. Method. Sixty-five patients were divided into pentazocine group and tramadol group. Subjects received either 30 mg pentazocine or 1 mg/kg tramadol intramuscularly. Pain was assessed using visual analog scale (VAS) before the administration of the drug, at 1 h, 2 h, 4 h, and at full dilatation. Maternal and neonatal side effects were determined. Results. Analgesic effect of the two drugs was not significantly different. Neither of these analgesics was effective towards the end of the first stage. However, in the tramadol group, the majority of women (55%) rated pain as severe, whereas in the pentazocine group, the majority of women (60%) rated pain as moderately severe. There were not many side effects with either of the drug in the given dosage. Mean injection to delivery interval was significantly shorter in the tramadol group as compared to the pentazocine group. Conclusion. Pentazocine or tramadol can be given for labor pain relief as an alternative to epidural analgesia in resource poor setting.