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A comparative analysis of isopropyl alcohol and ondansetron in the treatment of postoperative nausea and vomiting from the hospital setting to the home.

Author(s): Cotton JW, Rowell LR, Hood RR, Pellegrini JE

Affiliation(s): USN, Fleet Surgical Team 4, Little Creek, VA, USA.

Publication date & source: 2007-02, AANA J., 75(1):21-6.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

We compared the efficacy of inhaled isopropyl alcohol (IPA) with ondansetron for the control of postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) during a 24-hour period in 100 ASA class I-III women undergoing laparoscopic surgery. Nausea was measured postoperatively using a 0 to 10 verbal numeric rating scale (VNRS). The control group received ondansetron, 4 mg intravenously, and the experimental group inhaled IPA vapors. Breakthrough PONV was treated with 25-mg promethazine suppositories. Demographic and anesthesia characteristics were similar between groups. There was a significant difference between groups in mean +/- SD time to alleviation of PONV symptoms: for a 50% reduction in VNRS scores, 15.00 +/- 10.6 vs. 33.88 +/- 23.2 minutes was required in the experimental vs. the control group (P = .001). A total of 21 subjects (10 control; 11 experimental) reported PONV symptoms following discharge to home. The IPA treatment was successful in alleviating PONV symptoms in the home in 91% of the experimental group. We determined that using IPA after discharge from the postanesthesia care unit is a valuable method to control PONV in the hospital and at home. The results of this study suggest that IPA is much faster than ondansetron for 50% relief of nausea.

Page last updated: 2007-10-19

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