Background: Post-anaesthetic shivering is one of the most common complications, occurring in 5-65% of patients recovering from general anaesthesia and 33916 of patients receiving epidural anaesthesia. Our objective was to investigate the efficacy of intraoperative dexmedetomidine infusion on postoperative shivering. Methods: Ninety female patients, ASA I-II, 35-60 yr old, scheduled for elective total abdominal hysterectomy with or without bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy were randomized into two groups. After endotracheal intubation one group received normal saline infusion and the other received dexmedetomidine as a loading dose of 1 mu g kg(-1) for 10 min followed by a maintenance infusion of 0.4 mu g kg(-1) h(-1). In the recovery room, pain was assessed using a 100 mm visual analogue scale and those patients who had a pain score of more than 40 mm were administered 1 mg kg(-1) intramuscular diclofenac sodium. Patients with shivering grades more than 2 were administered 25 mg intravenous meperidine. Patients were protected with passive insulation covers. Results: Post-anaesthetic shivering was observed in 21 patients in the saline group and in seven patients in the dexmedetomidine group (P = 0.001). Shivering occurred more often in the saline group. The Ramsay Sedation Scores were higher in the dexmedetomidine group during the first postoperative hour. Pain scores were higher in the saline group for 30 min after the operation. The need for intraoperative atropine was higher in the dexmedetomidine group. Intraoperative fentanyl use was higher in the saline group. Perioperative tympanic temperatures were not different between the groups whereas postoperative measurements were lower in the dexmedetomidine group (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Intraoperative dexmedetomidine infusion may be effective in the prevention of post-anaesthetic shivering.