Efficacy of palonosetron in postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) - A meta-analysis

Preet Mohinder Singh, Anuradha Borle, Divakara Gouda, Jeetinder Kaur Makkar, Mahesh K. Arora, Anjan Trikha, Ashish Sinha, Basavana Goudra

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36 Scopus citations


Introduction Palonosetron is a second-generation 5-HT3 receptor antagonist with proposed higher efficacy and sustained action for prophylaxis of postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV). Methods Randomized controlled trials involving adult population undergoing elective surgery under general anesthesia comparing palonosetron to placebo, ramosetron, granisetron, and ondansetron were included. Data were extracted for vomiting incidence (VI), complete response (no nausea/vomiting; Complete Response [CR]), and rescue antiemetic need. This was categorized as early phase (24 hours postoperative for ramosetron and 6 hours for rest) and delayed phase (48 hours for ramosetron and 24 hours for rest). VI and CR were used as markers of drug efficacy. Any adverse effects were evaluated. Results Twenty-two trials (4 with 3 groups) were included (comparing palonosetron to placebo in 5, ramosetron in 5, granisetron in 4, and ondansetron in 12 subgroups). Palonosetron demonstrated statistical superiority over placebo for VI and CR, both early/delayed PONV prevention. For delayed phase, palonosetron surpassed ramosetron in all 3 variables; however, none of the variables attained statistical significance during early phase. In early phase, palonosetron had better VI and CR than did granisetron; however, variables other than CR (better for palonosetron) failed to achieve statistical significance for delayed phase. All 3 outcomes were significantly better for palonosetron compared with ondansetron in delayed phase, but statistical superiority could only be demonstrated for VI in early phase. Being inconsistently documented across trials, nausea scores could not be evaluated. Conclusion Palonosetron is as safe as and more effective than placebo, ramosetron, granisetron, and ondansetron in preventing delayed PONV. For early PONV, it has higher efficacy over placebo, granisetron, and ondansetron.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-482
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Clinical Anesthesia
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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