Comparing the efficacy of aprepitant and ondansetron for the prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV): A double blinded, randomised control trial in patients undergoing breast and thyroid surgeries

Salome Jeyabalan, Suma Mary Thampi, Reka Karuppusami, Kunder Samuel
Indian Journal of Anaesthesia 2019, 63 (4): 289-294

Background and Aims: Aprepitant, a Neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist, has been evaluated in abdominal and neurosurgeries, but its effect is less clear in breast and thyroid surgeries, which are also known to be high risk for post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV). This study was done to compare the antiemetic efficacy of ondansetron and aprepitant in women undergoing mastectomy and thyroidectomy.

Methods: One hundred and twenty-five ASA I and II, female patients, aged between 18 and 65 years were randomly assigned into Group I (ondansetron group, n = 62) or Group II (aprepitant group, n = 63), by computer-generated random sequencing. Per protocol analysis was done to assess the incidence and severity of PONV, use of rescue antiemetics, and patient satisfaction with PONV control between the two groups, till 24 h post-surgery.

Results: In the immediate postoperative period, 79.7% of patients in Group I and 85.2% in Group II were free of emesis ( P value: 0.49). In Group I, the first episode of vomiting occurred within a median duration 90 min (IQR 2575: 45-147) postoperatively, whereas the median duration in Group II was 160 min (IQR 25-75: 26-490), with request for rescue antiemetic at 60 min in Group I (IQR 25-75: 27-360) and 147 min in Group II (IQR 25-75: 11-457).

Conclusion: A single dose of oral aprepitant has comparable effects to injection ondansetron administered eighth hourly in preventing PONV, the severity of nausea, number of rescue antiemetics, and the time to first emetic episode in the 24-h postoperative period.

CTRI Reg No: REF/2017/06/014637.

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