Medline ® Abstract for Reference 59
of 'Management of acute chemotherapy-related diarrhea'
Octreotide versus loperamide in the treatment of fluorouracil-induced diarrhea: a randomized trial.
Cascinu S, Fedeli A, Fedeli SL, Catalano G
J Clin Oncol. 1993;11(1):148.
PURPOSE: Diarrhea is a prominent feature of fluorouracil (5FU) gastrointestinal toxicity, especially when 5FU is combined with leucovorin (LV) or interferon (IFN). No treatment for this condition has been well defined, although drugs, such as diphenoxylate or loperamide, generally are used. The efficacy of octreotide in the treatment of 5FU-induced diarrhea recently has been reported. We performed a randomized trial that compared octreotide with loperamide, the drug most commonly used for therapy for this disorder.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Forty-one patients with grade 2 (four to six stools per day) or grade 3 (seven to nine stools per day; National Cancer Institute toxicity criteria) diarrhea after chemotherapy with a 5FU-containing regimen for colorectal cancer in 28 cases, gastric cancer in six cases, pancreatic cancer in five cases, and breast cancer in two cases, were entered onto the study. Twenty-one patients received octreotide at a dosage of 0.1 mg subcutaneously twice per day for 3 days, and 20 patients received loperamide 4 mg orally initially and then 2 mg every 6 hours for 3 days. The two arms were comparable for age, sex, and primary tumor. Patients were evaluated for response each treatment day; all patients were assessable.
RESULTS: Diarrhea resolved in 19 patients in the octreotide arm (one within the first day; four within the second day; and 14 within the third day) versus only three (all after the third day of therapy) in the loperamide arm (P<.005). Median frequency of stools in the 3 days of therapy was four, three, and zero in the octreotide arm and five, five, and five in the loperamide arm. No side effects were observed in both arms. Ten patients on the loperamide arm and only one on the octreotide arm required hospitalization for parenteral replenishment of fluids and electrolytes.
CONCLUSION: Octreotide seems to be more effective than loperamide in control of diarrhea and elimination of the need for replenishment of fluids and electrolytes.
Servizio di Oncologia, Ospedali Riuniti, Pesaro, Italy.