Background and aims: The aim is to determine the effect of addition of clonidine to ropivacaine for epidural labor analgesia with regard to onset of analgesia, duration of analgesia, neonatal outcome, and quality of analgesia.
Material and methods: A total of 60 term parturients of the American Society of Anesthesiologists Grade I and II with uncomplicated pregnancy, vertex presentation, posted for on-demand epidural labor analgesia after informed consent were divided in two groups. Group R (n = 30) patients received 10 ml solution comprising 0.2% ropivacaine. Group RC (n = 30) patients received a total of 10 ml of 0.2% ropivacaine and clonidine 1 μg/kg. Characteristics of the block, onset and duration of analgesia, and total analgesic requirements were noted. Pain and overall satisfaction scores were assessed with a 10-point visual analog scale. Mode of delivery and neonatal APGAR scores were recorded.
Results: Maternal demographic characteristics were comparable between the groups. Addition of clonidine to ropivacaine shortened the onset and prolonged the duration of analgesia with decrease in ropivacaine requirement in Group RC. There was a significant difference between the two groups regarding visual analog score and quality of analgesia, which was better in Group RC. There were no significant differences between the two groups regarding motor block, hemodynamic parameters, and neonatal outcomes.
Conclusion: We conclude that clonidine in low doses is a useful adjuvant to local anesthetics for epidural labor analgesia and a good alternative to opioids.
Keywords: Clonidine; labor analgesia; ropivacaine.