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November 18th, 2009
Dextrose May be New Anti-Vomit Drug for Post-Op Patients

To ease the discomfort of sickness or vomiting after an operation, new research has discovered that taking dextrose (a form of glucose) will prevent post-op nausea.

“As one of the most common post-operative complications, [vomiting and nausea] remains one of the main causes of decreased patient satisfaction following surgery,” says an author of the new study, Dr. Susan Dabu-Bondoc of Yale School of Medicine. “Along with discomfort, the adverse effects can be extensive and may include aspiration, wound suture opening, prolonged hospital stays, unanticipated admission after outpatient surgery and delayed return of a patient’s ability to function in daily activities.”

Research was completed with 56 surgery patients. Half were given the Canadian prescription drug dextrose, while the other half was given a placebo.

The surgery performed were gynecologic, laparoscopic, and hysteroscopic procedures. Before surgery, patients were given a general anesthesia and a small dose of antiemetic, a drug which can calm down vomiting and sickness.

After reviewing the results of adding dextrose to the recovery period, researchers discovered that patients who took dextrose had less of a risk of nausea. These patients were also discharged from the post-operative care unit faster than the placebo patients.

“In light of the ease and low risk of administration of dextrose postoperatively and its apparent benefit to patient care and satisfaction, this therapeutic treatment should be considered in an attempt to prevent or reduce [vomiting and nausea] for patients in the immediate recovery period, ” said Dabu-Bondoc.

It is suggested that more research be done to fully understand how dextrose can prevent post-op sickness.

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