Lack of efficacy of propofol in the treatment of early postoperative nausea and vomiting

I. Harper, E. Della-Marta, H. Owen, J. Plummer, A. Ilsley

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11 Citations (Scopus)


The anti-nauseant efficacy of low-dose propofol was investigated in a a blinded, randomized trial. Patients who complained of nausea and/or vomiting following laparoscopic gynaecological surgery and who requested antiemetic were randomly assigned to receive placebo, propofol 3 mg, propofol 9 mg or propofol 27 mg by intravenous injection. Nausea, vomiting and sedation were recorded by a blinded observer for 90 minutes following administration of the test drug, prior to discharge, and 24 hours following surgery. Rescue antiemetic (droperidol 1.0 mg IV) was available from 10 minutes after administration of test drug. Propofol failed to reduce nausea scores and did not reduce the incidence of vomiting. Numbers of patients receiving rescue antemetic were similar in the four treatment groups. In the first 10 minutes following test drug administration, sedation scores were increased by propofol in a dose-related manner. We conclude that, in the dose range studied, propofol is ineffective for the treatment of nausea and vomiting occurring soon after laparoscopic gynaecological surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-370
Number of pages5
JournalAnaesthesia and Intensive Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaesthesia, complications: nausea, vomiting, postoperative
  • Anaesthetics,intravenous: propofol
  • Antiemetics


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