Purpose: To determine the attenuation in the incidence of myalgia, fasciculations and changes in serum potassium and creatinine kinase concentrations when atracurium and lidocaine were used in combination and separately as pretreatment before succinylcholine.
Methods: In a prospective, double blind randomized study, 80 ASA 1 patients 20-50 yr were assigned to one of four groups. Anaesthesia was induced with thiopentone and fentanyl. Group C received placebo pretreatment before 1.5 mg.kg-1 succinylcholine; Group A 0.05 mg.kg-1 atracurium three minutes before; Group L, 1.5 mg.kg-1 lidocaine 30 sec before; and group AL both atracurium and lidocaine. Serum potassium five minutes after succinylcholine, and creatinine kinase 24 hr after operation were measured and the increases from preinduction values were compared. Fasciculations and postoperative myalgia at 24 and 48 hr were recorded. Patients received iv meperidine or po paracetamol for postoperative analgesia.
Results: The increase in serum potassium concentration (0.36 +/- 0.23 mEq.l-1) was not attenuated by any regimen (P < 0.05). The incidence of fasciculations (P < 0.05) and the increase in creatinine kinase (P < 0.01) was less in the atracurium (40%; 20.93 IU.l-1) and atracurium-lidocaine (30%; 22.85 IU.l-1) than in the lidocaine (85%; 45.01 IU.l-1) and control (100%; 56.5 IU.l-1) groups. Postoperative myalgia on Days 1 and 2 was lowest (P < 0.05) in the atracurium-lidocaine group (5%; 0%) followed by the atracurium (35%; 25%) and lidocaine (30%; 35%) groups and highest in the control (75%; 65%).
Conclusion: Atracurium and lidocaine individually reduce postoperative myalgia, with further decrease occurring when used together.