Betamethasone reduces postoperative pain and nausea after ambulatory surgery

Anesth Analg. 1998 Aug;87(2):319-23. doi: 10.1097/00000539-199808000-00015.


The aims of this study were to evaluate the effects of a single-dose glucocorticoid on the incidence and severity of pain and nausea and vomiting (PONV) after ambulatory surgery. Seventy-eight ASA physical status I-III patients scheduled for hemorrhoidectomy or hallux valgus correction were studied using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled protocol. One group received 12 mg of betamethasone i.m. 30 min before the start of surgery (Group B), whereas the placebo group (Group P) received saline. General anesthesia was induced with propofol and fentanyl and maintained with isoflurane in both groups. Pain (measured using a visual analog scale, verbal score, and analgesic requirements), PONV, and other side effects were evaluated postoperatively. Patients in Group B experienced significantly less postoperative pain, less PONV, and better patient satisfaction during the first 24 h after surgery. In conclusion, a single dose of betamethasone (12 mg) seemed to produce analgesic and antiemetic effects after day-case surgery.

Implications: In a placebo-controlled study, the use of corticosteroid prophylaxis (betamethasone) produced a significant reduction in both postoperative pain and nausea in outpatients who received the corticosteroid injection before ambulatory foot or hemorrhoid operations.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Surgical Procedures*
  • Anesthesia, General
  • Betamethasone / administration & dosage*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage*
  • Hallux Valgus / surgery
  • Hemorrhoids / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nausea / prevention & control*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Postoperative / prevention & control*
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Vomiting / prevention & control


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Betamethasone