• complications: vomiting;
  • pharmacology, antiemetics: granisetron;
  • surgery: inguinal hernia, phimosis, circumcision

Background: We evaluated the efficacy of granisetron, 5-hydroxytryptamine type 3 receptor antagonist, given orally, preoperatively, for the prevention of postoperative vomiting in children undergoing general anaesthesia for surgery (inguinal hernia, phimosis-circumcision).

Methods: In a randomized, double-blinded manner, 100 children, ASA physical status I, aged 4–11 years, received orally placebo or granisetron at three different doses (20 μg·kg–1, 40 μg·kg–1, 80 μg·kg–1) 60 min before surgery (n=25 of each). The same standard general anaesthetic technique was used.

Results: The percentage of patients being emesis-free during 0–6 h after anaesthesia was 56% with placebo, 64% with graniseron 20 μg·kg–1 (P=0.773), 88% with granisetron 40 μg·kg–1 (P=0.027) and 92% with granisetron 80 μg·kg–1 (P=0.01); the corresponding rate during 6–24 h after anaesthesia was 60%, 68% (P=0.768), 92% (P=0.02) and 92% (P=0.02) (P-values versus placebo). No clinically serious adverse events were observed in any of the groups.

Conclusions: In summary, preoperative oral granisetron 40 μg·kg–1 is effective for the prevention of vomiting following paediatric surgery (inguinal hernia, phimosis-circumcision). Increasing the doses to 80 μg·kg–1 provides no demonstrable additional benefit.