Efficacy and tolerability of nasally administered compared to parenterally administered metoclopramide in the symptomatic treatment of chemotherapy-induced emesis in cancer outpatients A controlled clinical study

M. Tomirotti, M. Dimaiuta, M. Confalonieri, A. Scanni

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The clinical efficacy and tolerability of a new nasal spray formulation of metoclopramide (MTC) was evaluated in terms of its ability to prevent the nausea and vomiting induced by a moderately emetic chemotherapy (cisplatin 20 mg/m2 weekly as radioenhancer+radiotherapy for a fractionated total of 60 Gy) in 12 patients with non-small-cell lung cancer, stage IIIB. The first chemotherapy cycle was administered without any prophylaxis in order to identify those patients who experienced grade 2 nausea and/or vomiting. As prophylaxis during the second cycle, these patients were given MTC 20 mg i.v. at time zero, and MTC 20 mg i.m. after 4 h and 8 h; during the third cycle, they received MTC 40 mg by nasal spray 2 h before chemotherapy, followed by the same dose at 4 h and 8 h. The two prophylactic treatments (parenteral injections and nasal spray) proved to be therapeutically equivalent: complete protection, 6 and 6 patients respectively; major protection, 2 and 3 patients; minor protection, 1 and 1 patients; no protection, 3 and 2 patients. The control of nausea was satisfactory, with 7 and 9 patients respectively experiencing grade 0-1 nausea. Comparative analysis of individual responses confirmed the similar anti-emetic efficacy of the two regimens. No adverse reactions were observed at any time during the course of the study, and all 12 patients judged the acceptability of the new formulation as optimal. It can thus be concluded that the use of metoclopramide nasal spray represents an effective, safe, easily managed and low-cost therapeutic alternative for the prophylaxis and treatment of emesis induced by low-dose chemotherapy. The results of the present study could also promote a regular use of the MTC nasal spray in other fields of oncological supportive therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-392
Number of pages4
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1994



  • Chemotherapy
  • Cisplatin-induced emesis
  • Metoclopramide nasal spray

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Oncology

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