Efficacy of ondansetron and metoclopramide for preventing postoperative emesis following strabismus surgery in children

Anaesthesia. 1997 May;52(5):496-500. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2044.1997.101-az0098.x.


A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial was conducted to compare the efficacy of metoclopramide with the 5-HT3 antagonist, ondansetron, for the prevention of postoperative emesis in children undergoing elective strabismus surgery. None of the children received any premedication and a similar anaesthetic technique was used for all. Ondansetron 0.15 mg.kg-1, metoclopramide 0.25 mg.kg-1 or saline placebo were administered following intravenous catheter placement. Episodes of emesis were recorded for the first 24 h for the intervals of 0-2, 2-6 and 6-24 h. The incidence of emesis in the first 24 h was observed to be 71.7% in the placebo group, 34.4% in the ondansetron group (p < 0.001) and 61.4% in the metoclopramide group (p = NS). The severity of vomiting was less in the ondansetron group as compared with metoclopramide (p < 0.01) and placebo (p < 0.001). Recovery room scores were comparable in all the groups. No serious side-effects were observed in the ondansetron group. We conclude that prophylactic ondansetron is effective and superior to metoclopramide in the prevention of postoperative emesis in children following elective strabismus surgery.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Antiemetics / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Metoclopramide / therapeutic use
  • Nausea / prevention & control*
  • Ondansetron / therapeutic use
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Postoperative Period
  • Strabismus / surgery*
  • Vomiting / prevention & control*


  • Antiemetics
  • Ondansetron
  • Metoclopramide