Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: Clonidine is an alpha(2) adrenoreceptor and imidazoline receptor agonist, which has analgesic, sedative, and minimum alveolar anesthetic concentration-sparing effects. It has been used orally, IV, and epidurally. In spinal surgery, there is a reluctance to use local anesthetic-based epidural analgesia postoperatively because of fears of masking important signs of nerve root or spinal cord injury. METHODS: We randomized 66 patients undergoing uncomplicated decompressive spinal surgery to receive an epidural infusion of either clonidine (Group C) or saline placebo (Group P) postoperatively. Morphine consumption by patient-controlled analgesia device was recorded for 36 h. RESULTS: Morphine consumption was significantly lower in Group C. The mean consumption at 36 h was 35 mg (95% confidence interval 21-50 mg) in Group C, compared with 61 mg (95% confidence interval 48-74 mg) in the control group. Nausea was significantly reduced in Group C (6.5%), when compared with placebo (38.2%). CONCLUSION: Low-dose epidural clonidine significantly reduced the demand for morphine and reduced postoperative nausea with few side effects.

Original publication




Journal article


Anesth Analg

Publication Date





631 - 634


Adrenergic alpha-Agonists, Adult, Aged, Analgesia, Epidural, Blood Pressure, Clonidine, Double-Blind Method, Female, Heart Rate, Humans, Hypnotics and Sedatives, Linear Models, Male, Middle Aged, Morphine, Pain Measurement, Pain, Postoperative, Pilot Projects, Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting, Preanesthetic Medication, Spine, Urinary Retention