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Can J Anaesth. 1996 Feb;43(2):115-20.

Treatment of postoperative nausea and vomiting: comparison of propofol, droperidol and metoclopramide.

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  • 1Department of Anaesthesia, Laval University, Québec, Canada.



To compare the efficacy of propofol in a subhypnotic dose (10 mg iv), droperidol (1.25 mg iv), or metoclopramide (10 mg iv) in the treatment of PONV in the post anaesthesia care unit (PACU).


In a prospective, randomized, double-blind protocol, over four months, all eligible inpatients and outpatients were asked to give their consent to be included in the study should they suffer PONV in the PACU. They received a standardized general anaesthetic without any prophylactic antiemetic drug. In the recovery room, patients complaining of persistent nausea (lasting more than ten minutes) and/or experiencing at least two episodes of retching or vomiting were given one of the three study drugs. Recurrence of retching or vomiting was recorded for 60 min after administration of the study drug and nausea severity was assessed on a visual analog scale. Patients still complaining of PONV 30 min after administration of the study drug received a rescue medication (dimenhydrinate).


Seventy-eight patients received one of the study drugs. The recurrence of retching or vomiting was higher with propofol (58%) than with droperidol (4%) or metoclopramide (24%) (P < 0.001). More patients who received propofol needed the rescue medication (54%) than those who received droperidol (15%) or metoclopramide (28%) (P < 0.02). No difference was observed in nausea severity.


A subhypnotic dose of propofol (10 mg iv) is less effective than the conventional antiemetic drugs droperidol and metoclopramide for the treatment of PONV in the PACU.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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