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The Utility of Antiemetics in the Prevention and Treatment of Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting in Patients Scheduled for Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

[ Vol. 11 , Issue. 24 ]


Y. Fujii   Pages 3173 - 3183 ( 11 )


Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) are distressing and frequent adverse events of anesthesia and surgery, with a relatively high incidence after laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Numerous antiemetics have been studied for the prevention and treatment of PONV in patients scheduled for laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Traditional antiemetics, including anticholinergics (e.g., scopolamine), antihistamines (e.g., dimenhydrinate), phenothiazines (e.g., promethazine), butyrophenones (e.g., droperidol), and benzamide (e.g., metoclopramide), are used for the control of PONV. The available nontraditional antiemetics for the prophylaxis against PONV are dexamethasone and propofol. Serotonin receptor antagonists (ondansetron, granisetron, tropisetron, dolasetron, and ramosetron), compared with traditional antiemetics, are highly efficacious for PONV. The prophylactic ondansetron, granisetron, tropisetron, and dolasetron in antiemetic efficacy are comparable. Ramosetron is effective for the long-term prevention of PONV. None of the available antiemetics is entirely effective, perhaps because most of them act through the blockade on one type of receptor. There is a possibility that combined antiemetics with different sites of activity would be more effective than one drug alone for the prophylaxis against PONV. Combination antiemetic therapy is often effective for the prevention of PONV following laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The efficacy of a combination of serotonin receptor antagonists (ondansetron and granisetron) and droperidol is superior to monotherapy with a serotonin receptor antagonist or droperidol. Similarly, adding dexamethasone to ondansetron or granisetron improves antiemetic efficacy in PONV. Knowledge regarding antiemetics is necessary to completely prevent and treatment of PONV in patients scheduled for laparoscopic cholecystectomy.


laparoscopic cholecystectomy,complications,vomiting,antiemetics,serotonin receptor antagonist,combination


Department of Anesthesiology, University of Tsukuba Institute of Clinical Medicine, 2-1-1,Amakubo, Tsukuba City, Ibaraki 305-8576, Japan.

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