A randomized clinical study to compare pre-emptive analgesic efficacy of clonidine and diclofenac sodium in patients undergoing major surgeries at a tertiary care hospital

Prachi Jain, Uma Bhosale, Shashank Desai


Background: Pre-emptive analgesia is a method to achieve analgesia even before exposure to a noxious stimulus The purpose of pre-emptive analgesia is to reduce pain caused due to surgical incision triggered inflammatory mechanism activation; and to ensure a good post-operative pain control so that there is no development of chronic pain. Clonidine is an α2 adrenergic agonist thus it decreases the sympathetic outflow, while Diclofenac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent. Our literature review showed that both clonidine (150 μg) and diclofenac are efficacious pre-emptive analgesics. Literature review also revealed that there is no study available to compare pre-emptive analgesic efficacy as well as safety of oral clonidine with diclofenac, therefore present study was designed to compare pre emptive analgesic efficacy of these two drugs.

Methods: This randomized clinical study included 100 patients from surgical departments, of either sex, between 18 to 70 years age and of American society of anesthesiologists (ASA) I/II grade. Patients were randomly allocated to two groups and received either of the treatments 30 minutes prior to induction of anesthesia. Pain scores were recorded using visual analog scale, facial rating scale and behavioral rating scale at awakening and at 1, 2, 4, 6 and 24 hours. Postoperative analgesic requirement over 24 hours was recorded. Data were analyzed using OpenEpi statistical softwares.

Results: Significantly lower pain scores were observed in clonidine group as compared to Diclofenac at 4 and 6 hours (p<0.05) on all the pain scales. Clonidine group also required less postoperative analgesic as compared to diclofenac (p<0.05).

Conclusions: Study results are strongly suggestive of greater pre-emptive analgesic efficacy of clonidine over diclofenac in major surgeries done under spinal anesthesia.


Pre-emptive analgesia, Clonidine, Diclofenac, VAS, Aldrete’s scale

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