Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Anesthesiology and BioMed Central.

Open Access Open Badges Study protocol

Synergistic effect of intrathecal fentanyl and bupivacaine in spinal anesthesia for cesarean section

Jaishri Bogra1*, Namita Arora1 and Pratima Srivastava2

Author Affiliations

1 Deptt. of Anesthesiology, Kings" George Medical University, Lucknow, India

2 Deptt. of Pharmacokinetics and Metabolism, Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, India

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Anesthesiology 2005, 5:5  doi:10.1186/1471-2253-5-5

Published: 17 May 2005



Potentiating the effect of intrathecal local anesthetics by addition of intrathecal opiods for intra-abdominal surgeries is known. In this study by addition of fentanyl we tried to minimize the dose of bupivacaine, thereby reducing the side effects caused by higher doses of intrathecal bupivacaine in cesarean section.


Study was performed on 120 cesarean section parturients divided into six groups, identified as B8, B10 and B 12.5 8.10 and 12.5 mg of bupivacaine mg and FB8, FB10 and FB 12.5 received a combination of 12.5 μg intrathecal fentanyl respectively. The parameters taken into consideration were visceral pain, hemodynamic stability, intraoperative sedation, intraoperative and postoperative shivering, and postoperative pain.


Onset of sensory block to T6 occurred faster with increasing bupivacaine doses in bupivacaine only groups and bupivacaine -fentanyl combination groups. Alone lower concentrations of bupivacaine could not complete removed the visceral pain. Blood pressure declined with the increasing concentration of Bupivacaine and Fentanyl. Incidence of nausea and shivering reduces significantly whereas, the postoperative pain relief and hemodynamics increased by adding fentanyl. Pruritis, maternal respiratory depression and changes in Apgar score of babies do not occur with fentanyl.


Spinal anesthesia among the neuraxial blocks in obstetric patients needs strict dose calculations because minimal dose changes, complications and side effects arise, providing impetus for this study. Here the synergistic, potentiating effect of fentanyl (an opiod) on bupivacaine (a local anesthetic) in spinal anesthesia for cesarian section is presented, fentanyl is able to reduce the dose of bupivacaine and therefore its harmful effects.