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Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2001;7(11):596-603.

Double-blind comparative trial of oral ondansetron versus oral granisetron versus IV ondansetron in the prevention of nausea and vomiting associated with highly emetogenic preparative regimens prior to stem cell transplantation.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacy, Nursing and Medicine, and the Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, Illinois 60154, USA.


The optimal management of transplantation preparative regimen-induced nausea and vomiting remains unknown. We conducted a Phase III double-blind study to determine the efficacy and costs of oral ondansetron versus oral granisetron versus IV ondansetron and PRN rescue antiemetics for the prevention/control of nausea and vomiting associated with high-dose chemotherapy or chemoradiotherapy prior to stem cell transplantation. One hundred two patients were randomized to receive either 8 mg PO ondansetron every 8 hours, 1 mg PO granisetron every 12 hours, or 32 mg IV ondansetron every 24 hours plus 10 mg IV dexamethasone daily during and 1 day after the various preparative regimens. Study arms were compared in terms of emetic episodes, subjective nausea, amount and cost of rescue antiemetics used, and total costs. Response was defined as complete response (CR), no emesis with no or mild nausea and no rescue antiemetics; major response (MR), 1 episode of emesis or moderate nausea with or without rescue antiemetics; and major efficacy (ME), CR + MR. Subjective nausea was assessed using a 100-mm visual analog scale (VAS) with 0 = no nausea. Ninety-six patients completed the study; the trial was analyzed according to intention-to-treat. Overall CR rates were: 48% for oral ondansetron, 47% for oral granisetron, and 49% for IV ondansetron. Overall ME rates were 82% for oral ondansetron, 84% for oral granisetron, and 81% for IV ondansetron. Mean VAS scores were 32 for oral ondansetron, 32 for oral granisetron, and 27 for IV ondansetron. None of the differences were statistically significant. A cost analysis revealed significant differences among all arms (P = .0001, all comparisons). All 3 regimens had similar efficacy in this BMT population; oral ondansetron was the most cost-effective.

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