ASCO: For chemo's nausea, olanzapine beats metoclopramide

May 17, 2012
ASCO: for chemo's nausea, olanzapine beats metoclopramide

(HealthDay) -- For patients receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy who experience breakthrough chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, treatment with olanzapine (Zyprexa) is significantly better than treatment with metoclopramide, according to a phase III study released May 16 in advance of presentation at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from June 1 to 5 in Chicago.

Rudolph M. Navari, M.D., Ph.D., from the Indiana University School of Medicine South Bend, and colleagues conducted a randomized double-blind trial in chemotherapy-naive patients receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy. Patients who developed breakthrough emesis or nausea, despite receiving guideline-recommended prophylactic treatment for chemotherapy-induced , were randomly allocated to receive (42 patients) or metoclopramide (38 patients) orally for three days. Patients were monitored for 72 hours after treatment.

During the 72-hour observation period, the researchers found that 71 percent of patients receiving olanzapine and 32 percent receiving metoclopramide had no emesis (P < 0.01). During the observation period, the proportion of patients without nausea was 67 percent of those treated with olanzapine versus 24 percent of those treated with (P < 0.01). The investigators noted no grade 3 or 4 toxicities.

"This study suggests that olanzapine will be very useful in these patients who feel very sick and sometimes come to the clinic, hospital, or emergency room. As a result, patients will feel better," Navari said in a statement.

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