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AANA J. 2009 Aug;77(4):293-9.

Comparison of inhalation of isopropyl alcohol vs promethazine in the treatment of postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) in patients identified as at high risk for developing PONV.

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University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


Frequently, patients identified as high risk for postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) are treated prophylactically with intravenous (IV) ondansetron and postoperatively with IV promethazine. The purpose of this study was to determine if using an aromatic therapy of 70% isopropyl alcohol (IPA) would be more effective than promethazine in resolution of breakthrough PONV symptoms in groups of high-risk patients administered prophylactic ondansetron. All subjects enrolled were identified as high risk for PONV, administered general anesthesia and a prophylactic antiemetic of 4 mg of IV ondansetron, and randomized to receive IPA or promethazine for treatment of breakthrough PONV Demographics, verbal numeric rating scale (VNRS) scores for nausea, time to 50% reduction in VNRS scores, and overall antiemetic and incidence of PONV were measured. The data for 85 subjects were included in analysis; no differences in demographic variables or baseline measurements were noted between groups. The IPA group reported a faster time to 50% reduction in VNRS scores and decreased overall antiemetic requirements. A similar incidence in PONV was noted between groups. Based on these findings, we recommend that inhalation of 70% IPA is an option for treatment of PONV in high-risk patients who have received prophylactic ondansetron.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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