Cough Update: Benefits of Terbutaline in defeating fentanyl-induced coughing |
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Cough Update: Benefits of Terbutaline in defeating fentanyl-induced coughing

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The aim of the present study is to describe the domineering outcome of inhalation of a selective beta 2-adrenergic bronchodilator terbutaline, and the influence of an intravenous anticholinergic, atropine, on fentanyl-induced coughing.

For elective surgery 131, ASA class I patients, aged 16-45 years were scheduled. They were further classified into four groups and 15 minutes before bolus fentanyl (5 micrograms.kg-1, iv), patients inhaled either normal saline (4 ml; Group I) or terbutaline (5 mg in 2 ml normal saline; Group 2) through a jet nebulizer. Patients in Group 3 administered with sterile water iv as a standby of fentanyl, after inhalation of normal saline. Patients in Group 4 were pre-treated with atropine (0.01 mg.kg-1, iv) 10 min before iv fentanyl bolus. A blind evaluation was done by an anaesthetist about the onset, frequency and intensity of cough.

The results showed that cough frequency was higher in Groups I (43%) and 4 (46%) in contrast to in Groups 2 (3%) and 3 (0%). No difference in the onset time and intensity of cough was seen among different groups. No truncal rigidity was reported in patients receiving fentanyl bolus iv. No variation was seen in the blood pressure, heart rate, and peripheral oxygen saturation in Groups 1, 2, and 3, while Group 4 reported an increase in heart rate (25.5 +/- 15.2%).

Thus, it can be established that the inhalation of a selective beta 2-adrenergic bronchodilator such as terbutaline can successfully impede fentanyl-induced cough, which is attributed to the bronchoconstriction implicated in the mechanism of fentanyl-induced cough.

Source: Lui PW, Hsing CH, Chu YC. Terbutaline inhalation suppresses fentanyl-induced coughing. Can J Anaesth. 1996 Dec;43(12):1216-9.

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