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J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 1999 Jul;125(7):427-9.

An effective and more convenient drug regimen for prophylaxis against paclitaxel-associated hypersensitivity reactions.

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Department of Hematology/Medical Oncology, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio 44195, USA.


"Standard" prophylaxis for paclitaxel-associated hypersensitivity reactions has included the systemic administration of H1 and H2 histamine antagonists, along with oral dexamethasone taken both the night prior to, and the morning of, each paclitaxel treatment. To improve patient convenience and compliance with steroid delivery, the Gynecologic Cancer Program of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation has treated patients with an all-intravenous prophylaxis regimen (diphenhydramine 50 mg, famotidine 20 mg, dexamethasone 20 mg) given 30 min prior to paclitaxel (without any earlier oral steroid dosing). To date, we have treated more than 200 patients who received all courses of paclitaxel with this simplified prophylactic regimen, of whom approximately 9% developed hypersensitivity reactions (major or minor). This incidence is comparable to our previously reported experience with hypersensitivity reactions in a similar number of patients receiving the standard prophylaxis (including oral dexamethasone) with their initial course of paclitaxel, and subsequent cycles employing this all-intravenous program. We conclude that this "modified" regimen for paclitaxel-associated hypersensitivity reactions (with all drugs administered approximately 30 min prior to the delivery of paclitaxel) is as effective as, and more convenient than, the standard regimen, and avoids delaying chemotherapy as a result of a patient failing to remember to take one or both oral steroid doses.

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