Objective: To study the enhancement by dexamethasone of the effect of ondansetron and tropiesetron against postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) in patients receiving patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) and observe the effect of dexamethasone on wound healing.
Methods: One hundred and twenty elective surgical patients receiving PCA were divided into 4 groups, including 2 control groups with the prescription of ondansetron (8 mg) and tropiesetron (3 mg) respectively (control A and B) and 2 observation groups in which the patients were given ondansetron (8 mg) plus dexamethasone (10 mg) and tropiesetron (3 mg) plus dexamethasone (10 mg) respectively (observation groups C and D). The incidence and severity of PONV was observed at 4, 8, 2, 24 h and 2, 3 d postoperatively, and the time and grade of healing of the wound evaluated.
Results: Significant difference in PONV between group A and group B was observed (P<0.01), and in the observation groups, PONV was markedly reduced compared with the control groups (C vs A, P<0.01; D vs B, P<0.05). In light of the time and grade of wound healing, the observation groups differed little from the control groups.
Conclusion: Dexamethasone (10 mg) can greatly enhance the effect of ondansetron and tropiesetron against PONV in patients receiving PCA without interfering the healing of the wound.