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Sittl, R.; Baeumler, P.; Stumvoll, A. -M.; Irnich, D. and Zwissler, B. (2019): Überlegungen zum perioperativen Einsatz von Metamizol. In: Anaesthesist, Vol. 68, No. 8: pp. 530-537

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Background The non-opioid analgesic metamizole (dipyrone) is approved for the treatment of severe pain and is often used in the perioperative period. As it can cause agranulocytosis, a severe adverse event, its perioperative administration is controversially discussed. Objective Is there enough evidence for a high risk of metamizol-induced agranulocytosis (MIA)? What are the consequences of its perioperative use with respect to the risk profiles of alternative analgesics? Material and methods Rapid review of the literature on the risk of MIA and adverse effects of non-opioid analgesics. Results The incidence of MIA is estimated to be one case per million inhabitants per year. The risk seems low compared to other drugs associated with a risk of agranulocytosis, such as antithyroid drugs and ticlopidine. The risk profile of metamizole concerning hepatotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, bleeding and cardiovascular adverse effects is favorable compared to other non-opioid analgesics. None of the non-opioid analgesics are licensed to be administered intraoperatively. Conclusion The perioperative use of metamizole is possible after a thorough evaluation of the indications as it provides good analgesia with a generally favorable side effect profile and is administered intravenously. The risk of agranulocytosis is small but needs to be mentioned during patient informed consent in order to optimize early recognition. Intraoperative administration aims at reducing the expected severe postoperative pain. A documentation and justification for the evaluation of the indications are recommended.

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