A pilot study of intravenous ondansetron for hyperemesis gravidarum

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1996 May;174(5):1565-8. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9378(96)70607-5.


Objective: We attempted to determine whether the antiemetic ondansetron would be more effective than promethazine in treating hyperemesis gravidarum.

Study design: Patients with hyperemesis gravidarum who required hospital admission were randomized to receive either intravenous ondansetron (n = 15) or intravenous promethazine (n = 15) in a double-blind manner. Severity of disease was determined by electrolyte status, weight loss, ketonuria, and prior use of outpatient antiemetics. Outcome variables included degree of nausea, weight gain during treatment, days of hospitalization, and number of medication doses.

Results: In this preliminary investigation ondansetron offered no advantage when compared with promethazine in the relief of nausea, weight gain, days of hospitalization (4.5 +/- 2.3 vs 4.5 +/- 1.5), and total doses of medication per hospitalization (2.1 +/- 1.2 vs 1.9 +/- 1.3).

Conclusion: This preliminary trial of ondansetron demonstrated no benefit over promethazine in patients hospitalized for hyperemesis gravidarum.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antiemetics / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum / drug therapy*
  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum / physiopathology
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Ondansetron / therapeutic use*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Pregnancy
  • Promethazine / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antiemetics
  • Ondansetron
  • Promethazine