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Papers of the Week

Papers: 5 Mar 2022 - 11 Mar 2022

Pharmacology/Drug Development

2022 Mar 04

J Burn Care Res

Novel use of methadone intraoperatively in pediatric burn patients.


Carlson A, Pham D, Price C, Reisch J, Iskander I, Ambardekar A
J Burn Care Res. 2022 Mar 04.
PMID: 35245371.


Burn injury in children can cause severe and chronic physical and mental sequelae. Opioids are a mainstay in burn pain management but increasing utilization in this country has led to concern for their continued use and potential for dependence. Methadone is a long-acting analgesic that targets the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor in addition to the mu opioid receptor and has benefit in adult burn patients. However, its use in the pediatric burn population has been less robustly studied. This is a retrospective cohort study at a single Level 1 Burn Center whose primary aim is to compare opioid utilization 36 hours postoperatively between pediatric burn patients who received intraoperative, intravenous methadone and those who did not. Secondary aim was to describe differences in methadone-related complications between the cohorts. There was decreased opioid utilization measured by median morphine equivalents per kilogram (ME/kg) postoperatively in the methadone cohort compared to the control cohort (0.54mg/kg v. 0.77mg/kg, p = 0.18). No adverse events were noted upon chart review. The data suggests methadone use is beneficial in pediatric burn patients, but further prospective studies are warranted on a larger population.