Ondansetron, a selective serotonin-receptor antagonist, is an effective antiemetic for patients receiving high-dose cisplatin chemotherapy. However, no comparison has been made between a combination of a serotonin antagonist and dexamethasone, which also has antiemetic properties, with currently available antiemetic regimens. 289 consecutive cancer patients receiving cisplatin chemotherapy (≥ 50 mg/m2) were randomised to receive one of the following intravenous antiemetic regimens: ondansetron 0.15 mg/kg, before and after cisplatin, + dexamethasone 20 mg before cisplatin (treatment A) or metoclopramide 3 mg/kg, before and after cisplatin, + dexamethasone + diphenhydramine 50 mg before cisplatin (treatment B). From day 2 to day 4, all patients received oral metoclopramide and intramuscular dexamethasone. 267 patients (136 receiving treatment A and 131 treatment B) were available for analysis. Complete protection against emesis was achieved in 107 (78.7%) and 78 (59.5%) patients, respectively (p < 0.002). Complete protection was also significantly superior for treatment A on day 2 (83.9% vs 68.0%; p < 0.006). Complete protection from acute nausea (first 24 h) was achieved in 105 patients (77.2%) with treatment A and in 86 (65.6%) with treatment B (p < 0.051); complete protection from nausea and emesis was achieved in 94 (69.1%) patients and 66 (50.4%), respectively (p < 0.003). Patients receiving treatment B noted significantly more sedation than patients receiving treatment A (11.8% vs 2.1%; p < 0.005). Extrapyramidal reactions were present only with treatment B (2.7%). Ondansetron + dexamethasone is more effective and better tolerated than metoclopramide + dexamethasone + diphenhydramine in the prevention of cisplatin-induced nausea and emesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas