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Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 1997 Aug;41(7):914-22.

Intravenous dolasetron and ondansetron in prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting: a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Helsinki, Finland.



Intravenous dolasetron mesilate has shown efficacy in the prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) when administered as a single dose prior to emergence from anesthesia. This trial compared intravenous dolasetron and ondansetron for the prevention of PONV when administered at induction of anesthesia.


This double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial randomized patients to one of four single IV treatments placebo, 25 or 50 mg dolasetron, or 4 mg ondansetron. Efficacy was measured by complete response (0 emetic episodes and no rescue medication), nausea severity and patient satisfaction as measured on a visual analog scale (VAS), investigator's rating, of nausea severity, and total response (complete response with no nausea [< or = 5 mm VAS]).


514 patients at 24 sites were evaluated for efficacy. The 50 mg dolasetron and 4 mg ondansetron doses were statistically equivalent, and superior to placebo, for all efficacy measures. Complete response rates were 49%, 51%, 71% and 64% for placebo, 25 and 50 mg dolasetron, and ondansetron, respectively. Dolasetron 50 mg was statistically superior to 25 mg dolasetron for complete response, total response, VAS maximum nausea, time to first emetic episode, and patient satisfaction. The majority of adverse events were of mild-to-moderate intensity. Headache was the most frequently reported treatment-related adverse event with a 3%-5% incidence across treatments.


When given at induction of anesthesia, 50 mg intravenous dolasetron is equivalent to 4 mg ondansetron and superior to 25 mg dolasetron and placebo for the prevention of PONV. All treatments were safely administered and well tolerated.

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