Background: Treatment of vomiting in acute gastroenteritis can increase the rate of successful oral rehydration therapy (ORT) and lower the need for intravenous fluid administration. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of ondansetron in decreasing vomiting and duration of hospitalization in 6 month to 14 year old children.

Methods: In 2010, a double blind randomized controlled trial was carried out based on 100 children between six months and 14 years old with acute gastroenteritis and vomiting. Each child satisfied the inclusion criteria and agreed to participate in the study after receiving a complete explanation about the study. Participants were randomly divided into two groups to either receive intravenous ondansetron (single dose of 0.15mg/kg) or an intravenous placebo (5% dextrose water). The duration of hospitalization and number of vomiting episodes were compared between the two groups 4 hours after treatment. Data were analyzed using SPSS16 software.

Results: Duration of hospitalization was 38.30±18.62 hours in those receiving ondansetron and 45.10±25.79 hours in the control group. There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups (P=0.352). The number of vomiting episodes was 0.06±0.23 in the ondansetron group and 0.58±0.90 in the control group. This difference is statistically significant (P=0.000). No adverse effects were seen in either group relating to the drug.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated that intravenous ondansetron can effectively reduce the frequency of vomiting associated with acute gastroenteritis. We recommend administration of ondansetron for management of children with acute gastroenteritis but further studies with a larger sample size would be beneficial.


Key words: Ondansetron, acute gastroenteritis; vomiting; oral rehydration therapy (ORT)  
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