PURPOSE: Our practitioners are asked to consider a patient's postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) risk profile when developing their prophylactic antiemetic strategy. There is wide variation in employed strategies, and we have yet to determine the most effective PONV prophylactic regimen. The objective of this study is to compare prophylactic antiemetic regimens containing: phenothiazines to 5HT3 antagonists for effectiveness at reducing the incidence of Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) rescue antiemetic administration.
METHODS: This is an observational study of 4,392 nonsmoking women who underwent general anesthesia for breast surgery from 1/1/2009 through 6/30/2012. Previous history of PONV or motion sickness (HxPONV/MS) and the use of PACU opioids were recorded. Prophylactic antiemetic therapy was left to the discretion of the anesthesia care team. We compared phenothiazines and 5HT3 antagonists alone and with a glucocorticoid to determine the most effective treatment regimen in our practice for the prevention of the administration of PACU rescue antiemetics.
RESULTS: Patients who received a phenothiazine regimen compared to a 5HT3 antagonist regimen were less likely to have an antiemetic administered in the PACU (p=0.0100) and this significant difference in rates holds in a logistic regression model adjusted for HxPONV/MS and PACU Opioid use (p=0.0103).
CONCLUSIONS: Based on our findings our clinicians are encouraged to administer a combination of a phenothiazine and a glucocorticoid in female, nonsmoking surgical breast patients for the prevention of PACU rescue antiemetic administration.