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April 2014

Ondansetron for Acute Gastroenteritis: A Failure of Knowledge Translation

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of General Pediatrics, Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 2Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia
  • 3Associate Editor, JAMA Pediatrics
JAMA Pediatr. 2014;168(4):308-309. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.5378

Acute gastroenteritis (AGE) is one of the most common reasons for children seeking care in the emergency department (ED), accounting for nearly 2 million visits in the United States each year. For children with AGE and mild to moderate dehydration, oral rehydration therapy (ORT) is effective and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention1 and American Academy of Pediatrics as first-line therapy. However, vomiting is common in children with AGE and may prevent the success of ORT. Ondansetron, which became available in generic formulation in 2006, is efficacious in reducing vomiting and the need for intravenous (IV) rehydration and hospital admission,2 but little is known about its effectiveness in real-world practice.

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