Study Evaluates Nalbuphine vs. Tramadol for Post Operative Pain Relief Interview with:
Zhigang Cheng M.D.
Professor and vice Chairman
Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
Xiangya HospitalCentral South University  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: The background for this study is that as we mentioned in this study, ambulatory surgery has significantly shortened hospitalization, accelerated turnover, and reduced hospital costs and rates of nosocomial infections. However, the shortened hospitalization and increased mobility of surgical patients have necessitated the need to improve the efficacy of anesthesia and perioperative management.

Therefore, postoperative pain and the complications arising from its treatment are important considerations for patients undergoing ambulatory surgery. There have been few studies in China of nalbuphine for the treatment of postoperative pain after ambulatory surgery. So we decided to evaluate the analgesic efficacy and safety of intravenous nalbuphine hydrochloride for the treatment of postoperative pain after ambulatory surgery. What are the main findings?

Response: According to this study, we found that nalbuphine can effectively relieve pain in patients after ambulatory surgery, and its therapeutic effect is not inferior to tramadol, and the adverse events we observed included extravasation, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and hidrosis, had a low incidence. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: We think the readers can get the information that nalbuphine, as a synthetic opioid agonist-antagonist analgesic, is primarily a kappa (κ) agonist and a partial mu (μ) antagonist, has a better safety profile with fewer side effects compared with other opioids, because of its agonist and antagonist activities. Nalbuphine can be safely used to treat pain in patients after ambulatory surgery. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Lastly, we suggest that more prognostic indicator can be record in the future research. In this study we only focus on the VAS score adverse events and vital signs after the treatment. Such as the restoration time of bowel functions、the healing time of the incision, or Quality of Recovery (QoR) tool to measure patient centered outcomes which is an important component in addition to the VAS/vital signs measurement, all this can give a more comprehensive assessment of the therapeutic effects.


Guan, Y., Wei, L., Liao, Q. et al. Pain management after ambulatory surgery: a prospective, multicenter, randomized, double-blinded parallel controlled trial comparing nalbuphine and tramadol. BMC Anesthesiol 20204 (2020).


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Last Updated on August 24, 2020 by