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Since postoperative pain often is undermanaged, and opioids, although being efficient analgesics, have undesirable side effects, attention has turned towards adjuvant therapies, among them nicotine. We present seven studies of which six show an effect of nicotine on postoperative pain when given in a low dose, with short time of exposure and to non-smokers. Other possible confounders are gender and type of anaesthesia. Nicotine seems to increase the occurrence of nausea and vomiting. More research is needed, and nicotine cannot currently be recommended as part of a multimodal pain management regime.


Sanne Vibe Nielsen, Rasmus Hjelmar Petersen, Andra Pachai. A possible analgesic effect of nicotine on postoperative pain]. Ugeskrift for laeger. 2012 Jun 4;174(23):1594-8

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PMID: 22673378

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