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Saturday 01 April 2000

[Tropisetron for prevention of nausea and vomiting in children undergoing tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy]

By: Dillier CM, Weiss M, Gerber AC.

Anaesthesist 2000 Apr;49(4):275-8

BACKGROUND: Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) after tonsillectomy is a common problem in children. Tropisetron is a new 5HT3 receptor antagonist and is successfully used in paediatric patients receiving cancer therapy. The aim of the study was to assess efficacy and safety of a single intravenous dose of tropisetron for prevention of PONV in paediatric patients at risk for postoperative vomiting. METHODS: In a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, we studied 98 children aged 2-12 years undergoing tonsillectomy or adenotonsillectomy. Patients received placebo or tropisetron 0.1 mg (= 0.1 ml)/kg body weight immediately after induction of anesthesia. A standard general anesthetic technique (Sevoflurane/N2O/O2 without neuromuscular blockers or opioids) was used. Perioperative vital signs, grade of sedation and episodes of postoperative nausea and vomiting were recorded. RESULTS: No vomiting episodes occurred in 65.3% of the tropisetron treated patients compared to 34.7% of the placebo group (p = 0.0024). Only 10.2% of the tropisetron treated patients vomited more than 3 times compared to 22.4% of the control patients (p = 0.0004). The need for antiemetic rescue medication was significantly lower in the study group (10.4%) compared to 28.6% (p = 0.025). No significant adverse effects of the study medication were shown. CONCLUSION: A single intravenous prophylactic dose of tropisetron effectively reduces the incidence of PONV during the first 24 postoperative hours after tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy. Because of the low incidence of adverse effects, the prophylactic use of tropisetron seems to be safe and justified in paediatric surgical patients at high risk for postoperative vomiting.

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