Authors: Tong J. Gan, M.D. et al
Anesthesiology published on December 8, 2016.
Background: Two essentially identical, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group phase III studies evaluated the efficacy of intravenous amisulpride, a dopamine D2/D3 antagonist, in the prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting in adult surgical patients.
Methods: Adult inpatients undergoing elective surgery during general anesthesia and having at least two of the four Apfel risk factors for postoperative nausea and vomiting were enrolled at 9 U.S. and 10 European sites. A single 5-mg dose of amisulpride or matching placebo was given at induction of anesthesia. The primary endpoint was complete response, defined as no vomiting/retching and no use of antiemetic rescue medication in the 24-h postoperative period. Nausea incidence was a secondary endpoint.
Results: Across the two studies, 689 patients were randomized and dosed with study medication, of whom 626 were evaluable per protocol. In the U.S. study, 46.9% (95% CI, 39.0 to 54.9) of patients achieved complete response in the amisulpride group compared to 33.8% (95% CI, 26.2 to 42.0) in the placebo group (P = 0.026). In the European study, complete response rates were 57.4% (95% CI, 49.2 to 65.3) for amisulpride and 46.6% (95% CI, 38.8 to 54.6) for placebo (P = 0.070). Nausea occurred less often in patients who received amisulpride than those who received placebo. There was no clinically significant difference in the safety profile of amisulpride and placebo; in particular, there were no differences in terms of QT prolongation, extrapyramidal side effects, or sedation.
Conclusions: One of the two trials demonstrated superiority, while pooling both in a post hoc change to the plan of analysis supported the hypothesis that amisulpride was safe and superior to placebo in reducing the incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting in a population of adult inpatients at moderate to high risk of postoperative nausea and vomiting.