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Opioids are favoured as adjuvants to local anaesthetics for spinal anaesthesia. The present study was aimed to compare the clinical efficiency of intrathecal nalbuphine with fentanyl as an adjuvant to 0.5% hyperbaric bupivacaine. 100 adult patients of either sex, ASA grade I and II, aged 18–60 years were randomized into two groups of 50 each to receive either fentanyl 25 μg (Group BF) or nalbuphine 500µg (Group BN) with 3 ml 0.5% hyperbaric bupivacaine, making drug volume to 3.5 ml in each group. Sensory and motor block characteristics, duration of analgesia, VAS score, haemodynamic and side effects were recorded. The sensorimotor characteristics were comparable and found no significant difference between the two groups, (P>0.05). The time duration for adequate analgesia in group BN was 366.40 ± 37.32min, and in the group, BF was 361.39 ± 43.96min, (P= 0.567). In both, the groups, quality of analgesia during the procedure was excellent in a maximum number of patients (96% each group). Sedation score, hemodynamic and respiratory rate changes were comparable between the two groups. In group BF, 4 (8%) patients complained nausea/ vomiting, pruritus was observed in 2 (4%), intraoperative hypotension in 3 (6%) and bradycardia in 2 (4%) and post-dural puncture headache in 2 patient (4%). In group BN, only bradycardia was observed in 3 (6%) patients. Nalbuphine and fentanyl were found to be equally efficient, but nalbuphine had a lower side effect profile, readily available as it does not come under the Narcotic act. However, we suggest Nalbuphine-bupivacaine combination as a better alternative than fentanyl-bupivacaine combination.
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