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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 87

of 'Prevention and treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in adults'

A multicentre, double-blind study comparing placebo, ondansetron and ondansetron plus dexamethasone for the control of cisplatin-induced delayed emesis. Ondansetron Delayed Emesis Study Group.
Olver I, Paska W, Depierre A, Seitz JF, Stewart DJ, Goedhals L, McQuade B, McRae J, Wilkinson JR
Ann Oncol. 1996;7(9):945.
BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy and safety of oral ondansetron, given alone or in combination with dexamethasone in the control of cisplatin-induced delayed emesis.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: This was an international, multicentre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, parallel group study. A total of 640 chemotherapy-naïve patients received ondansetron 8 mg i.v. and dexamethasone 20 mg i.v. for the control of acute emesis prior to cisplatin (>or = 70 mg/m2) on day 1. Patients who were not rescued or withdrawn on day 1 were to be randomised 24 hours after the start of cisplatin administration to one of four groups; group I placebo oral (p.o.), twice daily (bd) on days 2-6 (n = 125); group II ondansetron (8 mg p.o. bd) on days 2/3 followed by placebo (p.o. bd) on days 4-6 (n = 199); group III ondansetron (8 mg p.o. bd) on days 2-6 (n = 214); group IV ondansetron (8 mg p.o. bd) plus dexamethasone (4 mg p.o. bd) on days 2-6 (n = 66).
RESULTS: On day 1, 81% of patients had complete control of acute emesis,with 68% having no emesis and no nausea. Over days 2/3 and over days 2-6, significantly more patients receiving ondansetron plus dexamethasone (group IV) reported no emesis and no nausea (49% and 45%, respectively) compared to ondansetron alone (32% and 27%, respectively) or placebo (group I; 33% and 27%, respectively; P<0.05 for all pairwise comparisons). There were no significant differences in the control of emesis over days 2/3, where 61% of patients had complete emetic control (0 emetic episodes) with ondansetron plus dexamethasone (group IV), 54% with ondansetron (groups II + III) and 49% with placebo (group I). In the distribution of nausea grades, ondansetron plus dexamethasone (group IV) was significantly superior to ondansetron (groups II + III); P = 0.037) and placebo (group I; P = 0.013) over days 2/3. Over days 2-6 there were no significant differences in the control of emesis, however a comparison of the distribution of nausea grades over days 2-6 showed ondansetron plus dexamethasone (group IV) to be significantly superior to ondansetron (group III; P = 0.043) and placebo (group I; P = 0.024). All treatments were well tolerated and no unexpected drug-related adverse events were reported. There were no differences in the overall incidence of adverse events between the active treatment groups or placebo. Constipation and headache, recognised side effects of 5-HT3 receptor antagonists, were the most commonly reported adverse events with the incidence of constipation with ondansetron alone (group III) being significantly greater than with over days 2-6 (14% vs. 6%; P = 0.030).
CONCLUSION: In contrast to some previous investigations, in this study, ondansetron alone appears to have a minor role in the control of cisplatin-induced delayed emesis and nausea. In conclusion, the combination of oral ondansetron plus dexamethasone is superior to ondansetron and to placebo.
Royal Adelaide Hospital, Australia.