Dexamethasone 8 mg in combination with ondansetron 4 mg appears to be the optimal dose for the prevention of nausea and vomiting after laparoscopic cholecystectomy.Can J Anaesth. 2002 Nov; 49(9):922-6.CJ
The combination of antiemetic drugs could be a solution to prevent severe postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV). The aim of this randomized double blind, dose-ranging study was to determine the minimum single effective dose of dexamethasone combined with ondansetron for the prevention of PONV in patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
One hundred eighty patients were allocated randomly to one of six groups to receive saline (P group), ondansetron 4 mg (O group), or ondansetron 4 mg and dexamethasone at doses of 2 mg (OD2 group), 4 mg (OD4 group), 8 mg (OD8 group), and 16 mg (OD16 group). A standardized general anesthetic was used. All episodes of PONV during the intervals of zero to six hours, 6-12 hr and 12-24 hr after surgery were evaluated using a numeric scoring system. Mean visual analogue scale pain scores at rest and on movement, the time to first demand of analgesia, total analgesic consumption in 12 hr epochs, duration of hospital stay, and side effects were recorded.
The incidence of PONV in the OD8 (16%) and OD16 (16%) groups was lower than in the 83% (P < 0.001) and O groups (50%) at the 12-24 hr epoch (P < 0.05). There were no differences in antiemetic effect between the O, OD2 and OD4 groups and between the OD8 and OD16 groups. Pain scores, total analgesic consumption, duration of hospital stay and side effects were similar among groups.
Our results suggest that 8 mg is the minimum dose of dexamethasone that, combined with ondansetron 4 mg will effectively prevent PONV in patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy.