A Comparison of Three Antiemetic Combinations for the Prevention of Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting

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Abstract

In this study we compared the efficacy and safety of three antiemetic combinations in the prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV). Ninety ASA status I–II women, aged 18–65 yr, undergoing general anesthesia for major gynecological surgery, were included in a prospective, randomized, double-blinded study. A standardized anesthetic technique and postoperative analgesia (intrathecal morphine plus IV patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) with morphine) were used in all patients. Patients were randomly assigned to receive ondansetron 4 mg plus droperidol 1.25 mg after the induction of anesthesia and droperidol 1.25 mg 12 h later (Group 1, n = 30), dexamethasone 8 mg plus droperidol 1.25 mg after the induction of anesthesia and droperidol 1.25 mg 12 h later (Group 2, n = 30), or ondansetron 4 mg plus dexamethasone 8 mg after the induction of anesthesia and placebo 12 h later (Group 3, n = 30). A complete response, defined as no PONV in 48 h, occurred in 80% of patients in Group 1, 70% in Group 3, and 40% in Group 2 (P = 0.004 versus Groups 1 and 3). The incidences of side effects and other variables that could modify the incidence of PONV were similar among groups. In conclusion, ondansetron, in combination with droperidol or dexamethasone, is more effective than dexamethasone in combination with droperidol in women undergoing general anesthesia for major gynecological surgery with intrathecal morphine plus IV PCA with morphine for postoperative analgesia.

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