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Cancer. 2000 Dec 1;89(11):2301-8.

Granisetron is equivalent to ondansetron for prophylaxis of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting: results of a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

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Oncology and Hematology Discipline, ABC Foundation School of Medicine, São Paulo, Brazil.



The introduction of serotonin antagonists as antiemetics for prophylaxis of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting represented a major step toward better patient tolerance and adherence to this type of treatment. Several published trials compared different serotonin antagonists without demonstrating clear superiority of any one of them. Because most of these trials compared ondansetron with granisetron, the authors conducted a meta-analysis to determine if the current data available show any therapeutic difference between them.


MEDLINE and CANCERLIT databases were searched from 1990 to May 1999, and pertinent article references also were surveyed, without restriction to English language. The authors included all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that had more than 25 patients per arm and compared ondansetron to granisetron for prophylaxis of acute (A) (< 24 hours) and delayed (D) (> 24 hours) nausea (N) and vomiting (V) induced by highly (H) or moderately (M) emetogenic chemotherapy. Only the first chemotherapy cycle was considered for studies that involved a crossover design.


Fourteen studies with 6467 evaluable patients among the 21 studies retrieved were selected for this meta-analysis. In none of the eight scenarios studied (AHV, AHN, AMV, AMN, DHV, DHN, DMV, and DMN) could the authors detect any significant differences in the antiemetic efficacy of any of these medications.


The authors conclude that both granisetron and ondansetron have similar antiemetic efficacy for prophylaxis of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Because the number of comparative studies that addressed the delayed nausea and vomiting scenarios is low, further RCTs are still needed to confirm these results.

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