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Small-dose droperidol effectively reduces nausea in a general surgical adult patient population.

Author(s): Kreisler NS, Spiekermann BF, Ascari CM, Rhyne HA, Kloth RL, Sullivan LM, Durieux ME

Affiliation(s): Department of Anesthesiology, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.

Publication date & source: 2000-11, Anesth Analg., 91(5):1256-61.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

In this prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled study, we (1) determined whether 0.625 mg of IV droperidol given 30 min before emergence from general anesthesia reduces the incidence of immediate and delayed postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) in a general surgical adult patient population, and (2) compared the efficacy of droperidol, ondansetron, and promethazine for the rescue treatment of PONV. One hundred fifty adult patients receiving general anesthesia for >2 h received either droperidol (0.625 mg IV) or a placebo before emergence. Patients requiring treatment for PONV in the postanesthesia care unit were randomized to receive either droperidol (0.625 mg IV), ondansetron (4 mg IV), or promethazine (12. 5 mg IV). Droperidol effectively prevented PONV (6.8% in droperidol-treated patients versus 40.8% in placebo-treated patients, P: < 0.001). Droperidol, ondansetron, and promethazine were equally effective in treating established PONV, without significant differences in side effects or time to postanesthesia care unit discharge. Implications: Droperidol 0.625 mg IV before emergence from general anesthesia effectively reduces postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) in the general surgical population. Our randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study demonstrated a reduction in PONV from 41% to 7%. Droperidol is a safe and inexpensive alternative to ondansetron. Droperidol, ondansetron, and promethazine are also equally effective in treating PONV in the postanesthesia care unit.

Page last updated: 2006-01-31

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