Butorphanol improves CO2 response and ventilation after fentanyl anesthesia

T. A. Bowdle, S. L. Greichen, R. L. Bjurstrom, Robert Blair Schoene

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12 Scopus citations


We have determined that the mixed agonist-antagonist narcotic, butorphanol, improves CO2 response and ventilation after fentanyl anesthesia. A tentative dosage range has been established. Twenty-two patients were anesthetized with isoflurane, nitrous oxide, and fentanyl, which was continuously infused throughout the study. Postoperatively three 1-mg doses of butorphanol were administererd IV. Blood pressure, heart rate, plasma epinephrine and norepinephrine concentrations, and pain intensity were essentially unchanged after butorphanol. Most of the improvement in breathing occurred after the first 1-mg dose. Mean respiratory rate increased from 7.8 ± 5.0 to 11.0 ± 4.8 min -1. (P ≤ 0.005), tidal volume increased from 469 ± 302 to 844 ± 390 ml (P ≤ 0.005), minute ventilation increased from 4.32 ± 2.97 to 8.51 ± 3.14 L/min (P ≤ 0.005), and the slope of the ventilatory response to CP2 increased from 0.36 ± 0.37 to 0.90 ± 0.80 L·min-1≥mm Hg-1 (P ≤ 0.05). Resting PaCO2 decreased from a baseline of 57.8 ± 11.1 to 51.7 ± 5.12 mm Hg (P ≤ 0.05) after the third dose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-522
Number of pages6
JournalAnesthesia and Analgesia
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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