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Monday 01 July 2002

Small-dose dexamethasone reduces nausea and vomiting after laparoscopic cholecystectomy: a comparison of tropisetron with saline.

By: Wang JJ, Ho ST, Uen YH, Lin MT, Chen KT, Huang JC, Tzeng JI.

Anesth Analg 2002 Jul;95(1):229-32, table of contents

Dexamethasone is an effective antiemetic drug, but the efficacy of small-dose dexamethasone 5 mg on the prophylaxis of postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) in patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy has not been evaluated. We, therefore, evaluated the prophylactic effect of small-dose dexamethasone (5 mg) on PONV in patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Tropisetron and saline served as controls. One-hundred-twenty patients scheduled for laparoscopic cholecystectomy were enrolled in a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study. At the induction of anesthesia, the Dexamethasone group received IV dexamethasone 5 mg, the Tropisetron group received IV tropisetron 2 mg, and the Placebo group received IV saline. We found that both dexamethasone and tropisetron significantly decreased the following variables: the total incidence of PONV (P < 0.01), more than four vomiting episodes (P < 0.05), and the proportions of patients requiring rescue antiemetics (P < 0.05). The differences between the Dexamethasone and Tropisetron groups were not significant. We conclude that prophylactic IV dexamethasone 5 mg significantly reduces the incidence of PONV in patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy. At this dose, dexamethasone is as effective as tropisetron 2 mg and is more effective than placebo. IMPLICATIONS: We evaluated the prophylactic effect of small-dose dexamethasone (5 mg) on postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) in patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Tropisetron (2 mg) and saline served as controls. We found that dexamethasone 5 mg (IV) significantly reduced the incidence of PONV in these patients, and, at this dose, dexamethasone was as effective as tropisetron and was more effective than placebo.

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