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Review: patient controlled opioid analgesia reduces postoperative pain more than conventional as-needed opioid analgesia

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Q Is patient controlled intravenous (IV) opioid analgesia (PCA) as effective as usual regimens of as-needed opioid analgesia for postoperative pain?


Embedded ImageData sources:

Medline (1966 to November 2004), EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (1994 to February 2004), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled trials (Cochrane Library, Issue 3, 2004), and reference lists of retrieved studies.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared the efficacy of PCA (intermittent IV doses of morphine or other mu opioid agonists self administered by patients using PCA pumps) with conventionally administered opioids (intramuscular, IV, subcutaneous, or oral) for postoperative …

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  • For correspondence: Dr J Hudcova, New England Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA. jhudcova{at}

  • Source of funding: not stated.