Transdermal Scopolamine Decreases Nausea and Vomiting following Cesarean Section in Patients Receiving Epidural Morphine


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Abstract

The authors evaluated the antiemetic properties of transdermal scopolamine (TDS) in healthy patients undergoing elective cesarean section and receiving epidural morphine for postoperative analgesia. Prior to administration of anesthesia, 203 patients had either TDS or a placebo study patch applied behind one ear. All patients were hydrated with lactated Ringer's solution iv and given 2.0% lidocaine with 1:200,000 epinephrine epidurally for surgical anesthesia. Following delivery of the infant, 4 mg of morphine sulphate was injected through the epidural catheter. After the operation patients were evaluated by “blinded” observers at 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 24, and 48 h for nausea, vomiting, retching, pain relief, itching, and adverse effects. In addition, medications received were noted. No differences were found between the groups in terms of severity or incidence of pain, or requests for analgesic or antipruritic medication. Although there was no difference between the groups in the first 2 h, patients with TDS had significantly less nausea, vomiting, and retching than patients in the placebo group in each time interval between 2 and 10 h. Additionally, the TDS group required less antiemetic medication. There was no difference in the frequency of retching or vomiting between groups. Side effects were minimal and equal in both groups. The authors conclude that TDS results in a decreased incidence of nausea and vomiting in patients who have delivered by cesarean section and received epidural morphine. TDS appears safe for continuous antiemetic administration.

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