What is the role of antiemetics in gastroenteritis treatment?

Updated: Feb 10, 2017
  • Author: Arthur Diskin, MD; Chief Editor: Steven C Dronen, MD, FAAEM  more...
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Answer

Antiemetics may be useful in the treatment of nausea and vomiting in adults. They are usually not recommended in children.

In a multicenter Italian pediatric ED study that evaluated antiemesis in 832 children (aged 1-6 years) with acute gastrenteritis who underwent successful first attempt with oral rehydration solution, of which 356 were randomized to either placebo (n = 118) or domperidone (1 dose, 0.5 mg/kg) or ondansetron (1 dose, 0.15 mg/kg) (n = 119, each), ondansetron administration reduced the risk of IV hydration by half compared to placebo and domperidone. [22]  The investigators suggested that in the emergency care setting, 60% of children in this age group with gastroenteritis-associated emesis without severe dehydration can be effectively managed with oral rehydration alone. [22]


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