Dexamethasone for Prevention of Postoperative Shivering: A Randomized Double-Blind Comparison with Pethidine

Masoud Entezariasl, Khatereh Isazadehfar


Background: Postoperative shivering is very common and followed by many problems such as increasing oxygen consumption, blood pressure, intracranial and intraocular pressure, and postoperative pain. Therefore, prevention of shivering is important, especially in elderly and ischemic heart disease patients. The goal of this study was to compare the effect of pethidine (meperidine), dexamethasone, and placebo on prevention of shivering.

Methods: This double-blind clinical trial study was carried out on 120 patients who were candidates for surgery under general anesthesia. The patients were randomly divided into three groups. Induction and maintenance of anesthesia for all patients were similar. Temperature of patients was measured every 5 min interval. After induction, saline 0.9%, dexamethasone and pethidine were injected to groups a, b, and c, respectively. In recovery, patients were controlled for visible shivering. All data were statistically analyzed by analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Chi-square tests.

Results: There were no signifi cant differences among three mentioned groups regarding gender, age, duration of surgery and anesthesia, extubation time, duration of recovery, and basic clinical characteristics. Nineteen cases (47.5%) of placebo group had postoperative shivering, whereas in dexamethasone group only four cases (10%) had shivering and the difference between the two groups was signifi cant. Also in pethidine group, 15 cases (37.5%) had shivering and the difference with placebo group was signifi cant (P value = 0.001).

Conclusion: The present study showed that pethidine and dexamethasone are effective drugs for prevention of postoperative shivering in elective surgery and the effect of dexamethasone in preventing the postoperative shivering is better than pethidine.

Keywords: Dexamethasone, general anesthesia, shivering, surgery, pethidine

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