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Bodner Matthew MD; White, Paul F. PhD, MD
Anesthesia & Analgesia: September 1991

The safety and efficacy of ondansetron were evaluated for the treatment of postoperative nausea and vomiting after laparoscopic surgical procedures. Seventy-one healthy, consenting outpatients were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups according to a double-blind, placebo-controlled protocol. A standardized anesthetic technique consisting of alfentanil-thiopental-succinylcholine for induction and alfentanil-nitrous oxide-succinylcholine for maintenance of anesthesia was used. Patients in whom postoperative nausea and/or vomiting developed and persisted for ≥ 10 min received equivolemic intravenous injections of either ondansetron (8 mg) or saline (placebo) over a 2--5-min period. Ondansetron significantly decreased the posttreatment nausea scores (vs placebo) without increasing sedation or producing changes in cardiorespiratory parameters. In the placebo-treated group, 92% of the patients experienced subsequent episodes of vomiting in the postanesthesia care unit compared with 51% of the patients in the ondansetron group. Finally, only 43% of the ondansetron-treated patients required a “rescue” antiemetic compared with 86% in the placebo group. Thus, ondansetron (8 mg IV) was associated with a decreased incidence of nausea and vomiting after outpatient laparoscopic procedures.

The authors thank S. Mark Poler, MD, for his valuable assistance with the enrollment of patients in the study and preliminary data analysis; Linda Kratz, RN, and Katherine Martin, RN, for their assistance with the data collection; Alan F. Joslyn, PhD, for his assistance with the final data analysis; and Gerri Neumann for her assistance with the manuscript preparation.

© 1991 International Anesthesia Research Society