Double-blind comparison of epidural ropivacaine 0.25% and bupivacaine 0.25%, for the relief of childbirth pain.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the efficacy of ropivacaine 0.25% when administered epidurally for relief of labour pain and to compare it with bupivacaine 0.25%. METHODS: In a multicentre investigation, 60 ASA I and II labouring women were randomized in a double-blind fashion to receive either bupivacaine 0.25% or ropivacaine 0.25% administered epidurally by intermittent top-up for labour analgesia. Using a standardized technique, epidural analgesia was initiated after the woman received 10-15 ml-kg.1 crystalloid solution. Maternal blood pressure, heart rate, analgesia sensory level, degree of motor block and visual analogue pain scores were measured by the research nurse prior to, and at regular intervals, following the administration of analgesia. Total dose of local anaesthetic administered, duration of labour, mode of delivery, and maternal and fetal/neonatal side effects were noted. The fetus/neonate was assessed by the research nurse using the fetal heart rate tracing, Apgar scores at delivery and neonatal neurobehavioural assessments at 2 and 24 hr postnatally. Maternal and investigators' satisfaction with the analgesia achieved was assessed after delivery. RESULTS: No differences were found between the two agents in any of the variables studied. CONCLUSION: Ropivacaine 0.25%, when administered epidurally by intermittent top-ups for labour analgesia, was equally efficacious as bupivacaine 0.25%.
Muir, HA; Writer, D; Douglas, J; Weeks, S; Gambling, D; Macarthur, A
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