Antipsychotic Agent, Olanzapine, Helps in Reducing Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea/Vomiting

Briefly noted: RM Navari et al. NEJM 2016; 375: 134-42. Olanzapine (marketed as Zyprexa), compared with placebo, in combination with dexamethasone, aprepitant (or fosaprepitant) and a 5-hydroxytryptomaine type 3 antagonist (eg palonosetron, ondansetron, or granisetron) helped reduced nausea/vomiting.  Among a total of 380 patients, 74% in the olanzapine group had no nausea/vomiting compared with 45% in the placebo group in the first 24 hours.  In the 1st 120 hours, the rates of no nausea/vomiting were 37% vs. 22%.  A “complete response,” defined as no emesis episodes and no rescue medications, occurred in 64% vs 41% in the 1st 120 hours.  The most concerning side effect reported was severe sedation which was reported in 5%.

Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge

Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge

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