Comparative study of fentanyl versus tramadol as adjuvant with low dose local anaesthetic ropivacaine (0.1%) for epidural labour analgesia

Aman Choudhary, Sakshi Maheshwari, Naveen Paliwal, Shobha Ujwal, Geeta Singariya


Background: Toxonomy committee of International Association defined pain as an unpleasant emotional and sensory experience associated with potential tissue damage. The present study was conducted to evaluate the effect of a combination of low dose ropivacaine with fentanyl and tramadol in epidural labour analgesia.

Methods: This prospective randomized double blinded clinical study was conducted in 100 patients in labour after ethical committee approval. Inclusion criteria was patients who had ASA I and ASA II (American society of anesthesiologists physical status classification system), age above 18 years, height more than 150 cm, weight less than 110 kg, either primigravidae or gravid 2. Patients were allocated into two groups Group F (ropivacaine with fentanyl) and group T (ropivacaine with tramadol) by computer generated randomisation technique.

Results: In the present study, mean age in group F (ropivacaine with fentanyl) was 22.54±2.5, mean age in group T (ropivacaine with tramadol) was 22.86±2.17, and weight in group F was 56.68±2.75 and group T was 56.58±2.58. Duration of labour in group F was 3.39±1.01 hrs and in group T was 3.42±0.70 hrs. There was no significant difference between the two groups at any time points for mean VAS score. There was no significant difference in the mean heart rate and arterial blood pressure among both the groups statistically (P>0.05). More side effects were seen in group F.

Conclusions: Both fentanyl and tramadol in combination with ropivacaine provide similar analgesia with minimal motor block. Both have no adverse effects on cardiotocographic parameters. However side effects were relatively more common in fentanyl group. Thus tramadol is a safer alternative to fentanyl as an adjunct to epidural labour analgesia.


Epidural labour analgesia, Fentanyl, Tramadol, Ropivacaine

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