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Br J Anaesth. 2012 Mar;108(3):374-83. doi: 10.1093/bja/aer509. Epub 2012 Feb 3.

Metoclopramide for nausea and vomiting prophylaxis during and after Caesarean delivery: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3094, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


Nausea and vomiting occur commonly during and after Caesarean delivery (CD) performed under neuraxial anaesthesia. Metoclopramide is a prokinetic agent reported to be safe in parturients. This meta-analysis assesses the efficacy of metoclopramide for prophylaxis against intra- and postoperative nausea and vomiting (IONV and PONV) in parturients undergoing CD under neuraxial anaesthesia. We performed a literature search of MEDLINE (1966-2011), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, EMBASE (1947-2011), Google scholar, and CINAHL for randomized controlled trials which compared metoclopramide with placebo in women having CD under neuraxial anaesthesia. Eleven studies with 702 patients were included in the analysis. Administration of metoclopramide (10 mg) resulted in a significant reduction in the incidence of ION and IOV when given before block placement [relative risk (RR) (95% confidence interval, 95% CI)=0.27 (0.16, 0.45) and 0.14 (0.03, 0.56), respectively] or after delivery [RR (95% CI)=0.38 (0.20, 0.75) and 0.34 (0.18, 0.66), respectively]. The incidence of early (0-3 or 0-4 h) PON and POV [RR (95% CI)=0.47 (0.26, 0.87) and 0.45 (0.21, 0.93), respectively] and overall (0-24 or 3-24 h) PON (RR 0.69; 95% CI 0.52, 0.92) were also reduced with metoclopramide. Extra-pyramidal side-effects were not reported in any patient. In conclusion, this review suggests that metoclopramide is effective and safe for IONV and PONV prophylaxis in this patient population. Given the quality of the studies and the infrequent use of neuraxial opioids, these results should be interpreted with caution in current practice and further studies are needed to confirm those findings.

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