Many antiemetic drugs are available for intravenous use in the hospital setting. However, few are available after patient discharge.
Therefore, nausea and vomiting are frequent complaints from patients at home after ambulatory surgery.
In this study, researchers from Norway assessed whether new 8 mg ondansetron disintegrating tablets decrease the rate of nausea and vomiting after laparoscopic surgery.
The team randomized 96 patients in a double-blind study.
|Rates of nausea and vomiting were similar in the 2 groups.|
|European Journal of Anaesthesiology|
Starting the first evening after operation, and then continuing every 12 hours for 3 days, patients received either placebo or ondansetron 8 mg disintegrating tablets orally.
The research team used a questionnaire to assess nausea, vomiting, and other side-effects, including dizziness, headache, nightmare, anxiety and pain. They also assessed the patient’s overall satisfaction at 24 and 72 hours after surgery.
The team found that rates of nausea and vomiting were similar in the 2 groups. Both during the first 24 hours (28% versus 48% for the placebo and ondansetron, respectively), and between 24 and 72 hours (21% versus 35%).
The incidence rate of vomiting was 8% for the placebo group versus 12% for the ondansetron group during the first 24 hours. Between 24 and 72 hours after surgery, incidence was 9% versus 13%, respectively.
Furthermore, no difference between groups was observed in overall satisfaction, incidence of postoperative pain or other side-effects.
Dr Thagaard’s team concluded, “The use of ondansetron disintegrating tablets of 8 mg twice a day for 3 days did not reduce the incidence of nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing outpatient laparoscopic surgery”.