The antiemetic effect of lorazepam after outpatient strabismus surgery in children

Anesthesiology. 1992 Nov;77(5):915-9. doi: 10.1097/00000542-199211000-00013.


The high incidence of postoperative emesis after strabismus surgery in pediatric outpatients can be reduced by the prophylactic administration of droperidol 75 micrograms/kg intravenously. However, this may be associated with profound sedation, delayed discharge, dysphoria, agitation, and extrapyramidal symptoms in this population. Because lorazepam used as an antiemetic in children during chemotherapy decreased the incidence of nausea and vomiting, we compared the antiemetic effects of lorazepam and droperidol in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 129 healthy children undergoing surgical correction of strabismus. The children, aged 1-13 yr, were randomly allocated into three groups. The children in group 1 received droperidol 75 micrograms/kg intravenously; those in group 2 received lorazepam 10 micrograms/kg intravenously; and those in group 3 received placebo. Anesthesia consisted of halothane, nitrous oxide in oxygen, and atracurium. Study drugs were administered intravenously after induction of anesthesia but before surgery. In children 3-13 yr old, administration of either lorazepam or droperidol was associated with a lower (P < 0.024) incidence of postoperative vomiting. There was no difference between the antiemetic effect of lorazepam and that of droperidol. The incidence of postoperative agitation was greater in the droperidol group (P < 0.001) than in the lorazepam and placebo groups. Postdischarge vomiting was less (P < 0.009) in children younger than 3 yr of age. Lorazepam, similar to droperidol, has an antiemetic effect in outpatient children 3-13 yr old undergoing strabismus correction, but it is associated with less postoperative agitation than is droperidol.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Ambulatory Surgical Procedures*
  • Antiemetics / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lorazepam / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Strabismus / surgery*
  • Vomiting / prevention & control*


  • Antiemetics
  • Lorazepam