Comparison of Ondansetron With Ondansetron Plus Dexamethasone for Antiemetic Prophylaxis in Children Undergoing Strabismus Surgery

Bhardwaj, Neerja; Bala, Indu; Kaur, Charanjit; Chari, Pramila
March 2004
Journal of Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus;Mar/Apr2004, Vol. 41 Issue 2, p100
Academic Journal
Background: Children undergoing strabismus surgery have a high incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting. Ondansetron plus dexamethasone is effective in reducing its incidence in many surgical procedures. Purpose: To examine the efficacy of ondansetron plus dexamethasone in children undergoing strabismus surgery. Patients and Methods: A randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind study of 100 children 2 to 12 years old, in American Society of Anesthesiologists classes I and II, and undergoing strabismus surgery with the use of general anesthesia was conducted. Children received normal saline (n = 31), an injection of 0.15 mg/kg of ondansetron (n = 39), or an injection of 0.15 mg/kg of ondansetron and 0.2 mg/kg of dexamethasone (n = 30). Postoperatively, children were monitored for the number of emetic episodes, Steward recovery score, and need for a rescue antiemetic. Results: The incidence of vomiting was 64.5% in the group receiving saline, 33.3% in the group receiving ondansetron, and 10% in the group receiving ondansetron plus dexamethasone (P < .001). The incidence of early vomiting (0 to 4 hours) and the need for a rescue antiemetic were significantly lower in the groups receiving ondansetron (P < .01) and ondansetron plus dexamethasone (P < .001) compared with the group receiving saline; however, the former two groups were comparable in this regard. In the late postoperative period (4 to 24 hours), the incidence of vomiting and the need for a rescue antiemetic were not significantly different among the groups. Vomiting was significantly more severe in the group receiving saline compared with the groups receiving ondansetron and ondansetron plus dexamethasone at all times (P < .01 and P < .001, respectively). However, the latter two groups were comparable in this regard. Conclusion: Ondansetron and ondansetron plus dexamethasone were equally effective in preventing early nausea and vomiting in children following strabismus surgery. However, the efficacy of dexamethasone in late postoperative nausea and vomiting could not be demonstrated. Further studies with a large population and different doses of dexamethasone may be warranted.


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