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Drugs. 1993 Nov;46(5):925-43.

Tropisetron. A review of its pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties, and therapeutic potential as an antiemetic.

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  • 1Adis International Limited, Auckland, New Zealand.


Tropisetron is a potent and selective serotonin 3 (5-hydroxytryptamine3; 5-HT3) receptor antagonist with antiemetic properties, probably mediated via antagonism of receptors both at peripheral sites and in the central nervous system. When compared with antiemetic regimens containing high-dose metoclopramide in a small number of studies, tropisetron was generally as effective at preventing acute and delayed vomiting induced by high-dose cisplatin (> or = 50 mg/m2). In these studies tropisetron completely prevented vomiting occurring in the first 24 hours after chemotherapy in 35 to 76% of patients. Tropisetron was superior to alizapride in preventing emesis induced by high-dose alkylating agents. The effectiveness of tropisetron in patients who had previously had partial control of emesis was improved by the addition of dexamethasone. Tropisetron appears to be well tolerated with the most frequently reported adverse effect being headache. Extrapyramidal effects, which can occur in 5 to 10% of patients receiving high-dose metoclopramide and which may limit its use, have been reported in only isolated cases with tropisetron. Thus, tropisetron is an effective, apparently well tolerated agent which can be administered once daily for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. However, further clinical experience is needed to clarify the optimum role of tropisetron as an antiemetic agent, particularly with regard to other drugs in its class. Nonetheless, preliminary results indicate that tropisetron will be a useful alternative for use in controlling emesis induced by cytotoxic therapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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