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Eur J Anaesthesiol. 2000 Oct;17(10):634-41.

Does etomidate increase postoperative nausea? A double-blind controlled comparison of etomidate in lipid emulsion with propofol for balanced anaesthesia.

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  • 1Department of Anaesthesiology, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Krankenhausstrasse 12, 91054 Erlangen, Germany.


In a double-blind randomized study, the incidence and severity of postoperative nausea and vomiting was investigated with a new formulation of etomidate (Etomidate-(R)Lipuro, B. Braun Melsungen AG, Germany) compared with propofol for induction of a balanced anaesthesia with isoflurane/fentanyl in air. The incidence and intensity of nausea was examined by use of a visual analogue scale (VAS; 0-100 mm) at 1, 2, between 6 and 8, and 24 h postoperatively. One-hundred-and-sixty-four patients undergoing orthopedic procedures were studied. For etomidate vs. propofol, 14.6% vs. 14.2% male and 26.8% vs. 27.5% female patients were nauseated during the first two postoperative hours. The median rating for nausea remained below 5 mm at any time in both groups, i.e. the intensity of nausea was very low. The incidence of vomiting was higher in women receiving etomidate (26.8% vs. 10%). We conclude that etomidate does not increase nausea during the early postoperative period.

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