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March 1961

Dextro Propoxyphene Versus Meperidine: An Evaluation of Analgesic Activity of These Hydrochlorides in Postoperative Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, The Mount Sinai Hospital, New York 29.; Present address: Beilinson Hospital, Petach Tikva, Israel (Dr. Reiss).

Arch Surg. 1961;82(3):429-431. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1961.01300090099020

Dextro propoxyphene hydrochloride,* first synthesized by Sullivan and Pohland,1 has been shown to elevate pain threshold significantly without toxic effects or withdrawal symptoms. In a study of patients with chronic pain, Gruber demonstrated that dextro propoxyphene produced an analgesic effect similar to that produced by an equivalent amount of orally administered codeine phosphate.2 Side-effects and complications following dextro propoxyphene administration have been few and mild.

This study was undertaken to determine the relative merits of dextro propoxyphene, 100 mg., meperidine hydrochloride,* 100 mg., and a placebo, when administered orally for the relief of postoperative pain. A second objective was to determine whether potent oral analgesics may be substituted for parenterally administered narcotics in the care of selected patients during the early postoperative period.

The analgesic activity of the 3 test drugs was evaluated in 100 postoperative patients. Estimates of pain intensity, as determined by careful interrogation of the