DOI: 10.1093/qjmed/hcad069.098 ISSN:

Addition of Neostigmine and Atropine to Conventional Management of Postdural Puncture Headache in Patients Undergoing Lower Abdominal Surgeries

Shimaa Mohamed Hassan Mohamed, Gehan Fouaad Kamel Yousef, Ahmed Ali El Shebiny, Mohamed Ahmed Ahmed Tolba
  • General Medicine



Postdural puncture headache (PDPH) is a complication of spinal anesthesia or lumbar puncture and is an unpleasant experience for the patient as well as the anesthetist. It is thought to result from meningeal traction related to low cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure or cerebral vasodilation as an indirect effect of decreased CSF pressure. Neostigmine is a reversible inhibitor of the enzyme cholinesterase, which results in an increased concentration of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. It produces cholinergic-mediated analgesia and has been used as an adjunct analgesic postoperatively. Neostigmine can pass through the choroid plexus but not the blood–brain barrier, the central effect of both neostigmine and atropine influence both CSF secretion and cerebral vascular tone which are the primary pathophysiological changes in PDPH.


Assess the effectiveness of postdural anesthesia with addition of Neostigmine and Atropine versus conventional postdural anesthesia.

Patients and Methods

A 90 patients were included in our prospective randomized controlled double-blind study that was conducted at Ain Shams University Hospitals for 4 months on patients who fulfilled the inclusion criteria: patients with ASA Grade I & II, aged from (18 to 40) years old and scheduled for cesarean section. All patients aged >18 or <40, body weight >50, ASA III, IV, patients with uncontrolled chronic diseases such as hypertension, cardiac, renal, hepatic, cerebral diseases and peripheral vascular diseases, patients with history of PDPH, chronic headache, cluster headache, migraine, convulsions, cerebrovascular accident, signs of meningismus, preeclampsia, eclampsia coagulopathy, and previous neurological diseases and patients with history of bronchial asthma were excluded. Patients were divided into 2 groups: Group I (experimental group): neostigmine and atropine and Group II (placebo group): Saline placebo.


The results of this study showed that incidence of postoperative headache was significantly lower among the intervention group, furthermore, VAS was significantly lower in the experimental arm versus placebo one. However, there was no significant difference regarding demographic, vital signs, and need for post-operative analgesia. The presented study showed that there is statistically non-significant difference between the studied groups regarding age, weight, and height and body mass index. There is statistically non-significant difference between the studied groups regarding duration of surgery.


After demonstrating many management options for post dural puncture headache (PDPH), in this study, we tried to prove the value of the use of neostigmine as a new management option that looks promising to alleviate the symptoms of such distressing condition. The current study results proved that the drug reduced the number of cases that experienced (PDPH) after spinal anesthesia for lower segment caesarean section, and how it prevent &control headache. A combination of neostigmine and atropine are effective in managing PDPH by reducing the associated VAS score and preventing persistence of headache.

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