To evaluate the prophylactic effect of ondansetron on nausea and vomiting following epidural morphine for postoperative pain control.
Seventy women (n = 35 in each group) undergoing abdominal total hysterectomy under epidural anesthesia were enrolled in this randomized, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled study. At the end of surgery, all patients received epidural morphine 3 mg for postoperative pain relief. Before morphine injection, the ondansetron group received iv ondansetron 4 mg, whereas the placebo group received iv saline.
Patients in the ondansetron group reported a lower frequency of total postoperative nausea and vomiting (22%) and lower frequency of rescue antiemetic request (12%) than those in the placebo group (52% and 39%, respectively; P < 0.05). In addition, ondansetron was associated with a reduced incidence of pruritus following epidural morphine (28% vs 58%; P < 0.05).
We conclude that iv ondansetron 4 mg is effective in the prevention of nausea, vomiting, and pruritus following epidural morphine for postoperative pain control.