Treatment of severe nausea and vomiting of pregnancy with subcutaneous medications

Chad K. Klauser, Nathan S. Fox, Niki Istwan, Debbie Rhea, Andrei Rebarber, Cheryl Desch, Beverly Palmer, Daniel Saltzman

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24 Scopus citations


We examined treatment outcomes in women with severe nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP) receiving outpatient nursing support and either subcutaneous metoclopramide or subcutaneous ondansetron via a microinfusion pump. Among women receiving outpatient nursing services, we identified those diagnosed with severe NVP having a Pregnancy-Unique Quantification of Emesis (PUQE) score of greater than 12 at enrollment and prescribed either metoclopramide (n=355) or ondansetron (n=521) by their physician. Maternal characteristics, response to treatment, and start versus stop values were compared between the medication groups. Allocation to group was based on intention-to-treat protocol. Maternal characteristics were similar between the groups. Days to reduction in PUQE score levels were similar (median 2 days, metoclopramide; 3 days, ondansetron; p=0.206). Alteration from metoclopramide to ondansetron (31.8%) was more frequent than alteration from ondansetron to metoclopramide (4.4%; p<0.001). Improvement of NVP symptoms and reduced need for hospitalization was noted with both medications. Treatment with either metoclopramide or ondansetron resulted in significant improvement of NVP symptoms with half of women showing a reduction from severe symptoms to moderate or mild symptoms within 3 days of treatment initiation. Alteration in treatment was significantly greater in patients initially prescribed metoclopramide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-721
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2011


  • NVP
  • nausea and vomiting of pregnancy
  • subcutaneous metoclopramide
  • subcutaneous ondansetron


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