The symptom complex, nausea and vomiting, is truly distressing to the surgical patient. Moreover, because of the unconscious or semiconscious state of such patients these symptoms present a definite threat to health and life. Aspiration of vomitus may cause pneumonia or even suffocation. The heaving of abdominal contents due to retching during surgical procedures or postoperatively must be controlled. Consequently, while various measures such as the "balanced mixture" for anesthesia* introduced by Shane and Ashman1-4 have helped to reduce the incidence of vomiting or delay it until patients are fully awake and in control of reflexes, therapeutic agents that give prompt relief of nausea and vomiting are still important.
A number of antiemetic drugs are available for this purpose—antihistamines, phenothiazines, sedatives, and combinations of these. However, since they may produce side-effects ranging from hypotension to extrapyramidal symptoms, these modalities by no means represent the ideal antiemetic agent.
KOLODNY AL, SHANE S. TrimethobenzamideIntravenous Use as an Antiemetic in Surgical Patients. Arch Surg. 1961;83(5):775-777. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1961.01300170131026