Anti-Psychotic Drug Effective Against Chemo-Induced Nausea and Vomiting

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According to an abstract that will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago, a familiar anti-psychotic drug called olanzapine (marketed as Zyprexa) is effective at reducing the nausea and vomiting which is a side effect of chemotherapy.

Rudolph Navari, MD, PhD, of Indiana University School of Medicine in South Bend, reported the abstract, noting that it was from a phase III clinical trial showing that olanzapine "significantly improved the control of breakthrough nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy."

Olanzapine controls nausea

This is said to be the first study to show that such nausea and vomiting can be controlled even when it occurs despite guideline-directed treatment meant to avoid it.

The study involved 80 cancer patients, with a wide variety of tumor types and chemotherapy regimens. Following chemotherapy dosing, the patients were randomly assigned to take olanzapine at 10 milligrams once a day for 3 days or metoclopramide (sold under many brand names) at 10 milligrams 3 times a day for 3 days.

Out of the 42 patients given olanzapine, 30 of them or 71 percent, did not vomit, compared to 13 of the 38 patients, or 32 percent, given metoclopramide.

Additionally, 28 patients, or 67 percent, in the olanzapine arm didn't even experience nausea, compared with nine,or 24 percent, in the metoclopramide patients.

The data will be presented in Chicago at the ASCO meeting in June.

Source: Medpage Today

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