Low-Dose Amitriptyline as an Adjunct to Opioids for Postoperative Orthopedic Pain: A Placebo-Controlled Trial
Abstract: Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) have been found to be useful in the management of a variety of chronic pain conditions, although there is little published regarding the potential efficacy of this class of drug as an adjunct for the control of acute postoperative pain and related symptoms. Twenty-eight patients undergoing total hip or knee arthroplasty completed a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded trial of 50 mg of amitriptyline p.O. HS on postoperative days 1, 2 and 3 while using patient-controlled morphine or meperidine analgesia (PCA). Visual analog (VAS) and numerical verbal (NVS) pain ratings, sedation scores, sleep quantity/quality scores, and sense of well-being scores were assessed twice daily on each of the days succeeding amitriptyline/placebo use.