Intrathecal fentanyl added to bupivacaine and morphine for cesarean delivery may induce a subtle acute opioid tolerance INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OBSTETRIC ANESTHESIA Carvalho, B., Drover, D. R., Ginosar, Y., Cohen, S. E., Riley, E. T. 2012; 21 (1): 29-34


Previous studies have demonstrated that the addition of intrathecal fentanyl to a spinal anesthetic for cesarean delivery improves intraoperative analgesia. However, intrathecal fentanyl may induce acute tolerance to opioids. The objective of this study was to investigate whether the addition of intrathecal fentanyl to spinal anesthesia with intrathecal morphine increases postoperative analgesic requirements and pain scores.In this randomized, double-blinded study, 40 women having elective cesarean delivery were enrolled. Patients received spinal anesthesia with hyperbaric bupivacaine 12 mg, morphine 200 µg, and fentanyl 0, 5, 10 or 25 µg. Each patient received intravenous patient-controlled analgesia morphine for 24h postoperatively. Outcome measures included postoperative morphine usage and pain scores, as well as intraoperative pain, nausea, hypotension and vasopressor use.Total morphine use over the 24-h post-spinal study period was similar among the study groups (P=0.129). Postoperative pain scores were higher in patients receiving fentanyl 5, 10 and 25 µg compared to fentanyl 0 µg control group (P=0.003).The study results suggest that intrathecal fentanyl may induce acute tolerance to intrathecal morphine. However, because there was no difference in postoperative analgesia requirement and the difference in pain scores was small, the clinical significance of this finding is uncertain.

View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijoa.2011.09.002

View details for Web of Science ID 000301325800006

View details for PubMedID 22100823