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Br J Anaesth. 2007 Aug;99(2):202-11. Epub 2007 May 30.

Single-dose aprepitant vs ondansetron for the prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting: a randomized, double-blind phase III trial in patients undergoing open abdominal surgery.

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  • 1Services d'Anesthesiologie-Reanimation Chirurgicale, CHU, Hôpital de Hautepierre, 1 Avenue de Moliere, Strasbourg 67000, France.



The neurokinin(1) antagonist aprepitant is effective for prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. We compared aprepitant with ondansetron for prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting.


Nine hundred and twenty-two patients receiving general anaesthesia for major abdominal surgery were assigned to receive a single preoperative dose of oral aprepitant 40 mg, oral aprepitant 125 mg, or i.v. ondansetron 4 mg in a randomized, double-blind trial. Vomiting episodes, use of rescue therapy, and nausea severity (verbal rating scale) were documented for 48 h after surgery. Primary efficacy endpoints were complete response (no vomiting and no use of rescue therapy) 0-24 h after surgery and no vomiting 0-24 h after surgery. The secondary endpoint was no vomiting 0-48 h after surgery.


Aprepitant at both doses was non-inferior to ondansetron for complete response 0-24 h after surgery (64% for aprepitant 40 mg, 63% for aprepitant 125 mg, and 55% for ondansetron, lower bound of 1-sided 95% CI > 0.65), superior to ondansetron for no vomiting 0-24 h after surgery (84% for aprepitant 40 mg, 86% for aprepitant 125 mg, and 71% for ondansetron; P < 0.001), and superior for no vomiting 0-48 h after surgery (82% for aprepitant, 40 mg, 85% for aprepitant, 125 mg, and 66% for ondansetron; P < 0.001). The distribution of peak nausea scores was lower in both aprepitant groups vs ondansetron (P < 0.05).


Aprepitant was non-inferior to ondansetron in achieving complete response for 24 h after surgery. Aprepitant was significantly more effective than ondansetron for preventing vomiting at 24 and 48 h after surgery, and in reducing nausea severity in the first 48 h after surgery. Aprepitant was generally well tolerated.

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