Background and objective: In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial, we compared the efficacy of oral dolasetron and ondansetron in preventing postoperative nausea and vomiting in children after various surgical operations.
Methods: Children were assigned randomly to one of three groups (each contained 50 children) to receive dolasetron 1.8 mg kg−1 or ondansetron 0.15 mg kg−1 orally, or a placebo. All children received methylene blue capsules (10 mg) orally as an indicator before the induction of anaesthesia. Postoperatively, contamination of the mouth and the endotracheal tube by methylene blue was recorded, and postoperative nausea and vomiting was recorded for 0–1, 1–24 and 0–24 h. Metoclopramide (0.1 mg kg−1) intravenously was used as the rescue antiemetic.
Results: In the 0–1 h period after operation, there were no differences between the groups. In the 1–24 h period, dolasetron was significantly better than placebo (nausea 8 versus 24%; vomiting 4 versus 20%; total nausea and vomiting scores 16 versus 48%). Over the 0–24 h period, both dolasetron and ondansetron were significantly better than placebo (nausea 16 versus 26 versus 40%), vomiting (8 versus 16 versus 30%), and total nausea and vomiting scores (32 versus 48 versus 78%). There were no significant differences between dolasetron and ondansetron. There was no important methylene blue contamination, and little use of rescue metoclopramide. There were no important adverse events.
Conclusions: Prophylactic oral dolasetron and ondansetron were effective in reducing postoperative nausea and vomiting in children.