Anaesthesia and intensive care

Potency of mephentermine for prevention of post-spinal hypotension.

PMID 19681412


This study was designed to determine the minimum effective dose (ED50) of mephentermine for prevention of post-spinal hypotension in women undergoing elective caesarean section. Dixon's up-down method of sequential allocation was used to determine the patient's dose of vasopressor drug. In our previous study, mephentermine appeared to be much more potent than ephedrine, so the present study was conducted using a lower initial dose and smaller dose interval for this vasopressor. Following administration of spinal anaesthesia, a prophylactic infusion of mephentermine was started with 5 mg infused over a period of 30 minutes as the initial dose and a dose interval of 1 mg. The ED50 of mephentermine of 3.7 mg (95% confidence interval 2.4 to 5.7 mg) was much less than that of ephedrine, as calculated in our previous study using the same methodology. Using these values gives a potency ratio of ephedrine to mephentermine of 1:6.8 (95% confidence interval 6.0 to 7.5).