Efficacy of dexamethasone in reducing the incidence of postoperative sore throat: a double blind randomized study
Introductions: Postoperative sore throat (POST) is a commonly seen adverse event after general anesthesia with endotracheal intubation. Dexamethasone, a potent corticosteroid with anti-inflammatory action is the most popular steroid studied in this regard with positive results.
Methods: This randomized, prospective, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study was conducted on one hundred and ten adult patients of either sex, undergoing elective surgeries requiring endotracheal tube intubation. After obtaining written informed consent, they were randomly divided into Control (A, n=55) and Dexamethasone (B, n=55) groups and received either an injection of Dexamethasone (Group B) 8 mg intravenously or an equivalent volume of Normal Saline (Group A) just before entering the operating theatre. All the patients received a similar anesthesia with endotracheal tube intubation and at the end of surgery, extubated and transferred to the post-anesthesia care unit. The incidence and severity of sore throat were assessed at 1, 6 and 24 hours post-extubation. Severity of sore throat were graded on a 4 point scale, p <0.05 was considered significant.
Results: Incidence of POST in Dexamethasone group was found significantly low compared to the control group up to six hours (p<0.05) but was comparable at 24 hours post extubation. Severity of POST in the study group was of lower grade in compare to control group.
Conclusions: Prophylactic intravenous Dexamethasone 8 mg administered to patients undergoing elective surgeries requiring endotracheal tube intubation significantly reduces the incidence and severity of POST up to six hours post-extubation.
Keywords: dexamethasone, general anesthesia, post-operative sore throat (POST)