Postoperative narcotic analgesic administration

D D McDonald

Document Type Article


The administration of narcotic analgesics to postoperative patients was examined with 180 uncomplicated adult appendectomy patients. Narcotic analgesic doses were transcribed from the hospital records of these patients for the entire postoperative period. Equianalgesic doses were calculated so that all medications were comparable with meperidine. Eighty-three percent (n = 150) of the patients received meperidine. Patients who received meperidine were given significantly more narcotic analgesics than those who received morphine sulfate. The amount of narcotic analgesics received by patients was significantly related to their length of hospital stay. Meperidine and Tylenol #3 (acetaminophen with codeine phosphate; McNeil Pharmaceutical, Spring House, PA) comprised the significantly associated analgesics. These findings suggest a need to reexamine the current use of meperidine in postoperative analgesia.