Topical bupivacaine compared to lidocaine with epinephrine for post-tonsillectomy pain relief in children: a randomized controlled study

Omer Afşin Ozmen, Süay Ozmen
International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology 2011, 75 (1): 77-80

OBJECTIVE: To compare the topical administration of bupivacaine hydrochloride, lidocaine hydrochloride with epinephrine and saline in alleviating post tonsillectomy pain.

STUDY DESIGN: A double-blind prospective randomized controlled clinical study.

METHODS: Between November 2008 and March 2009, 60 patients (32 males and 28 females) between ages of 1.5 and 15 years were recruited into the study. After informed consent was obtained from the parents, patients, admitted for tonsillectomy, were randomized into three groups using sealed envelops. Group 1 (20 patients, mean age 5.2±1.7) received topical lidocaine hydrochloride (20 mg/ml) with 0.00125% epinephrine. Group 2 (20 patients, mean age 6±3.7) received topical 0.5% bupivacaine hydrochloride and group 3 (20 patients, mean age 6.7±3.6) received topical saline.

RESULTS: The post-operative pain scores at 1h were similar among the groups (p=0.29). Pain scores in bupivacaine hydrochloride group were significantly lesser than the saline group at 5th, 13th, 17th and 21st hours, until the sixth day (p<0.017). Moreover, pain scores of bupivacaine hydrochloride group were superior to lidocaine hydrochloride group starting at 17 h, until fourth day (p<0.017). Pain scores of lidocaine hydrochloride group were lesser than saline group in the first and fifth days (p<0.017), whereas, there was no significant difference at other times.

CONCLUSION: Topical administration of bupivacaine hydrochloride proved to provide more efficient pain control than both saline and lidocaine without any drug related complication.

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