MAR 20, 2018 9:17 PM PDT

Treatment for Post-Surgical Nausea and Vomiting

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Amisulpride, a drug developed for the treatment of schizophrenia, was studied to be effective in preventing postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV). The drug was seen to decrease the development of PONV when used in combination with a standard anti-nausea treatment; administered intraoperatively.

"Tens of millions of Americans undergo surgery each year, and many suffer from nausea and vomiting after their operation," says Dr. Kranke, a professor of anesthesiology at the University of Würzburg in Germany."Post-operative nausea and vomiting contribute to patient distress, can delay recovery after surgery and increases hospital costs. Patients with multiple risk factors for PONV require a multimodal approach for its prevention, including using a combination of anti-nausea drugs with different mechanisms of action, since it cannot be predicted which pathway(s) will be active in a patient."

A significant factor associated with the development of PONV has a lot to do with gender; female surgical patients are more likely to be at risk. Other risk factors include a prior history of PONV, being prone to motion sickness, nonsmoking individuals, and those in need of opioids from the surgical-related pain. Not preventing PONV will cause nausea and vomiting to at least 60 to 80 percent of patients who exhibit at minimum three of the known risk factors. The current treatment options that prevent post-surgery nausea and vomiting include classes of corticosteroid and serotonin 5-HT3; which are given intraoperatively. However, this was never enough and an additional drug needed to be developed and administered in combination with previous treatments to maximize efficacy; "safe and effective anti-nausea drugs from other classes are needed to complement these," says Dr. Kranke, a lead researcher of the study.

Furthermore, the mechanism of Amisulpride works physiologically to inhibit dopamine signaling in the body. Comparable dopamine-blocking compounds were examined to prevent and treat post-surgical nausea and vomiting; however, these treatments are now disregarded due to associated side effects involving irregular heartbeats and movement disorders. Therefore, Amisulpride is safe and effective in comparison to the other known drug treatments.

The research study, published in the journal Anesthesiology, examined 1,147 adult patients that were administered general anesthesia and undergoing elective surgery, and who also possess at least three or four of the PONV risk factors. The patients were randomly matched to a type of amisulpride administration and with an additional anti-nausea drug treatment with a placebo. Investigators concluded that high-risk surgical patients receiving a low dose of intravenous Amisulpride in combination an anti-nausea drug (from a different class of compounds) were safe and effective. "This could enable improved control of PONV and allow for earlier mobilization and discharge of surgical patients," Dr. Kranke said.

As of now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing the use of Amisulpride.

Sources: Anesthesiology, Medical Xpress

About the Author
BS/MS
Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
You May Also Like
APR 21, 2022
Health & Medicine
Inhibiting a Key Signaling Pathway in Immune Cells Slows Alzheimer's Progression
APR 21, 2022
Inhibiting a Key Signaling Pathway in Immune Cells Slows Alzheimer's Progression
Weill Cornell Medicine researchers recently discovered that inhibiting a key signaling pathway in brain cells can lessen ...
APR 28, 2022
Health & Medicine
Antidepressants Not Associated Improved Quality of Life
APR 28, 2022
Antidepressants Not Associated Improved Quality of Life
According to a recently published study in PLoS, antidepressants do not improve health-related quality of life (HRQoL) o ...
MAY 06, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Scientists discover new methods of production for Sulphur-based medications
MAY 06, 2022
Scientists discover new methods of production for Sulphur-based medications
Modern medicine has drastically changed since humans discovered the first ancient treatment methods. Herbal remedies and ...
JUN 17, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Projected Increases in Cannabis Use in States Legalizing Recreational Cannabis
JUN 17, 2022
Projected Increases in Cannabis Use in States Legalizing Recreational Cannabis
A study published in the scientific journal Addiction found that people will be more likely to use cannabis as their sta ...
JUN 24, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Decrease in Youth Substance Use During the Pandemic
JUN 24, 2022
Decrease in Youth Substance Use During the Pandemic
A review published in Child and Family Disaster Psychiatry found that youth substance use declined during the COVID-19 p ...
JUN 24, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Pain Medications with High Abuse Potential More Likely to Achieve Approval
JUN 24, 2022
Pain Medications with High Abuse Potential More Likely to Achieve Approval
Researchers found that pain medications with a high potential for abuse are more likely to be approved than medications ...
Loading Comments...