Prevention and Treatment of Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting

Department of Anaesthesiology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City 66160-7415, USA.
Drugs (Impact Factor: 4.34). 03/2000; 59(2):213-43. DOI: 10.2165/00003495-200059020-00005
Source: PubMed


Pain, nausea and vomiting are frequently listed by patients as their most important perioperative concerns. With the change in emphasis from an inpatient to outpatient hospital and office-based medical/surgical environment, there has been increased interest in the 'big little problem' of postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV). Currently, the overall incidence of PONV is estimated to be 25 to 30%, with severe, intractable PONV estimated to occur in approximately 0.18% of all patients undergoing surgery. PONV can lead to delayed postanaesthesia care unit (PACU) recovery room discharge and unanticipated hospital admission, thereby increasing medical costs. The aetiology and consequences of PONV are complex and multifactorial, with patient-, medical- and surgery-related factors. A thorough understanding of these factors, as well as the neuropharmacology of multiple emetic receptors [dopaminergic, muscarinic, cholinergic, opioid, histamine, serotonin (5-hydroxy-tryptamine; 5-HT)] and physiology [cranial nerves VIII (acoustic-vestibular), IX (glossopharyngeal) and X (vagus), gastrointestinal reflex] relating to PONV are necessary to most effectively manage PONV. Commonly used older, traditional antiemetics for PONV include the anticholinergics (scopolamine), phenothiazines (promethazine), antihistamines (diphenhydramine), butyrophenones (droperidol) and benzamides (metoclopramide). These antiemetics have adverse effects such as dry mouth, sedation, hypotension, extrapyramidal symptoms, dystonic effects and restlessness. The newest class of antiemetics used for the prevention and treatment of PONV are the serotonin receptor antagonists (ondansetron, granisetron, tropisetron, dolasetron). These antiemetics do not have the adverse effects of the older, traditional antiemetics. Headache and dizziness are the main adverse effects of the serotonin receptor antagonists in the dosages used for PONV. The serotonin receptor antagonists have improved antiemetic effectiveness but are not as completely efficacious for PONV as they are for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Older, traditional antiemetics (such as droperidol) compare favourably with the serotonin receptor antagonists regarding efficacy for PONV prevention. Combination antiemetic therapy improves efficacy for PONV prevention and treatment. In the difficult-to-treat PONV patient (as in the chemotherapy patient), suppression of numerous emetogenic peripheral stimuli and central neuroemetic receptors may be necessary. This multimodal PONV management approach includes use of: (i) multiple different antiemetic medications (double or triple combination antiemetic therapy acting at different neuroreceptor sites); (ii) less emetogenic anaesthesia techniques; (iii) adequate intravenous hydration; and (iv) adequate pain control.

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Available from: Anthony Kovac, Dec 23, 2013
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    • "PONV is an especially distressing adverse event to many patients, often feared more than postoperative pain [1,2]. The incidence of PONV is estimated at 25% to 30% in all patients and as high as 80% in patients with multiple high-risk factors [3,4]. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study compared palonosetron and ondansetron as rescue medications for postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) in patients who received prophylactic ondansetron. Although guidelines recommend use of an agent from a different class when prophylaxis has failed, palonosetron has unique properties relative to other serotonin 5-HT3 receptor antagonists. Prior trials assessing its use for rescue have had conflicting results. Although palonosetron has compared favorably with ondansetron for PONV prevention, the drugs have not been compared in the rescue setting of failure of 5-HT3 receptor antagonist prophylaxis. This was a randomized, open-label, multicenter trial comparing the efficacy and safety of intravenous palonosetron 0.075 mg and intravenous ondansetron 4 mg in patients experiencing PONV following laparoscopic abdominal or gynecological surgery despite prophylactic ondansetron. Of 239 patients screened, 220 were enrolled and 98 were treated for PONV: 48 and 50 in the palonosetron and ondansetron arms, respectively. Complete control during 72 hours after study drug administration was achieved in 25.0% of palonosetron recipients and 18.0% of ondansetron recipients (95% confidence interval [CI], -9.2, 23.3; p = 0.40). Corresponding incidences of vomiting were 29.2% for palonosetron and 48.0% for ondansetron (95% CI, -0.06, 37.7; p = 0.057), and 62.5% and 56.0% required additional rescue treatment, respectively (95% CI, -25.9, 12.9; p = 0.52). Other than a similar incidence of procedural pain in the 2 groups, the most common treatment-emergent adverse events, which were generally mild, were headache (14.6% vs 12.0%), constipation (8.3% vs 10.0%), and dizziness (6.3% vs 8.0%), for the palonosetron and ondansetron groups, respectively. Palonosetron and ondansetron did not show differences in the primary efficacy endpoint of CC during the 72 hours after study drug administration. There was a trend toward less emesis in the 0–72 h time period favoring palonosetron. While larger studies are needed to fully assess any clinical benefits of palonosetron to rescue patients who have failed ondansetron prophylaxis for PONV, the benefit, if any, would be limited based on this study. Trial registration, NCT00967499 (Registered August 27, 2009)
    BMC pharmacology & toxicology 08/2014; 15(1):45. DOI:10.1186/2050-6511-15-45
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    • "The vomiting centre in the brain stem, which is comprised of the reticular formation and nucleus tractus solitaries, can be activated directly via irritants or indirectly via 4 principal areas, namely the gastrointestinal tract, cerebral cortex and thalamus, vestibular region, and chemoreceptor trigger zone [3]. These regions contain high concentrations of opioid, dopamine, serotonin (or 5-hydroxytryptamine), histamine, and muscarini cholinergic receptor [4]. Various classes of medications, including serotonin receptor antagonists, dopamine receptor antagonists, and steroids, are currently used to prevent PONV. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) is one of the most common postsurgical complications. Palonosetron, a 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor antagonist, is effective for PONV prevention. Herein, we compared palonosetron and aprepitant (a neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist) for PONV prevention in patients indicated for laparoscopic gynaecologic surgery. Methods Ninety-three patients who were scheduled to undergo laparoscopic gynaecologic surgery under general anaesthesia were assigned to receive either a single intravenous injection of 0.075-mg palonosetron or 40-mg oral aprepitant in a double-blind randomised trial. The primary efficacy end points included complete response (visual analogue scale [VAS] nausea score <4 and no use of rescue therapy) 0–48 h after surgery. Nausea severity (0–10) and use of rescue therapy were monitored for 0–48 h. The secondary efficacy end points were the effect of aprepitant quantified using a 10-point VAS for pain, consumption of intravenous patient-controlled analgesia, and use of rescue analgesics. Results Aprepitant was non-inferior to palonosetron in terms of complete response 0–48 hours after surgery (74% vs. 77%). At 0 and 2 h after administration, the nausea severity with 40-mg aprepitant was significantly lesser than that with 0.075-mg palonosetron (P < 0.05). At 6 and 24 h after administration, fentanyl consumption with 40-mg aprepitant was significantly lower than that with 0.075-mg palonosetron. Greater amounts of rescue analgesics were required in the aprepitant group. Conclusions Palonosetron and aprepitant were both effective for PONV prevention in the patients indicated for laparoscopic gynaecologic surgery. The drugs can be used in combination for multimodal therapy because they bind to different receptors. More research is needed to evaluate the effects of aprepitant on pain management in humans.
    BMC Anesthesiology 08/2014; 14(1):68. DOI:10.1186/1471-2253-14-68 · 1.38 Impact Factor
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    • "Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) is one of the most common perioperative concerns, with a relatively high incidence of up to 73% after craniotomy [1-5]. PONV usually leads to patient discomfort, delayed discharge from the intensive care unit (ICU) or hospital, and increased medical costs [6]. Moreover, severe vomiting may result in dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and acid–base disturbance [6]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Craniotomy patients have a high incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV). This prospective, randomized, double-blind, multi-center study was performed to evaluate the efficacy of prophylactic ramosetron in preventing PONV compared with ondansetron after elective craniotomy in adult patients. A total of 160 American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status I–II patients aged 19–65 years who were scheduled to undergo elective craniotomy for various intracranial lesions were enrolled in this study. All patients received total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) with propofol and remifentanil. Patients were randomly allocated into three groups to receive ondansetron (4 mg; group A, n = 55), ondansetron (8 mg; group B, n = 54), or ramosetron (0.3 mg; group C, n = 51) intravenously at the time of dural closure. The incidence of PONV, the need for rescue antiemetics, pain score, patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) consumption, and adverse events were recorded 48 h postoperatively. Among the initial 160 patients, 127 completed the study and were included in the final analysis. The incidences of PONV were lower (nausea, 14% vs. 59% and 41%, respectively; P < 0.001; vomiting, P = 0.048) and the incidence of complete response was higher (83% vs. 37% and 59%, respectively; P < 0.001) in group C than in groups A and B at 48 h postoperatively. There were no significant differences in the incidence of PONV or need for rescue antiemetics 0–2 h postoperatively, but significant differences were observed in the incidence of PONV and complete response among the three groups 2–48 h postoperatively. No statistically significant intergroup differences were observed in postoperative pain, PCA consumption, or adverse events. Intravenous administration of ramosetron at 0.3 mg reduced the incidence of PONV and rescue antiemetic requirement in craniotomy patients. Ramosetron at 0.3 mg was more effective than ondansetron at 4 or 8 mg for preventing PONV in adult craniotomy patients. Trial registration Clinical Research Information Service (CRiS) Identifier: KCT0000320. Registered 9 January 2012.
    BMC Anesthesiology 08/2014; 14(1):63. DOI:10.1186/1471-2253-14-63 · 1.38 Impact Factor
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