ER Trial of Inhaling Isopropyl Alcohol From Pads Reduced Nausea

Michael D. April, MD, DPhil Department of Emergency Medicine San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium San Antonio, TX

Dr. April

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Michael D. April, MD, DPhil
Department of Emergency Medicine
San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium
San Antonio, TX 

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. April: Anesthesia research studies have found that nasal inhalation of isopropyl
alcohol has efficacy in treating nausea among post-operative patients. We
sought to study this agent among Emergency Department patients with nausea or
vomiting. We found that patients randomized to inhale isopropyl alcohol had
improved self-reported nausea scores compared to patients randomized to inhale
saline (placebo).

MedicalEditor’s note:  Do Not Do This Without Medical Supervision!

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. April: Nasal inhalation of isopropyl alcohol is a simple and safe agent for providing
at least short-term nausea relief. Administration is simple. A provider may
open one of the isopropyl alcohol disinfectant pads commonly found in the
hospital, and instruct a patient to take deep inhalations while holding the
pad approximately 1 inch from his or her nose.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. April: Our study only measured nausea scores through 10 minutes — future research
should examine longer time horizons to determine how long symptom relief
lasts. The next important step will be to compare isopropyl alcohol in a
randomized trial to commonly-used anti-emetic drugs. If future research can
demonstrate that isopropyl alcohol outperforms these drugs in treating nausea,
we will have identified a therapy which is both less expensive and likely
safer than our current anti-emetic options.

Citation:

Kenneth Beadle et al. Isopropyl Alcohol Nasal Inhalation for Nausea in the Emergency Department: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Annals of Emergency Medicine, December 2015 DOI:1016/j.annemergmed.2015.09.031

Michael D. April, MD, DPhil (2015). ER Trial of Inhaling Isopropyl Alcohol From Pads Reduced Nausea 

MedicalEditor’s note:  Do Not Do This Without Medical Supervision!

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