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Leuk Lymphoma. 1992 Jul;7(4):317-21.

Results of a double blind placebo controlled study of ondansetron as an antiemetic during total body irradiation in patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation.

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Leukaemia Unit, Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton, Surrey, U.K.


Total body irradiation (TBI) is a highly emetogenic component of the majority of conditioning regimens in use for bone marrow transplantation. Conventional antiemetic therapy fails to control nausea and vomiting induced by single fraction TBI in as many as 50% of patients. In a double blind study of 20 patients undergoing marrow transplantation, a single 8 mg ondansetron dose was compared with placebo given immediately prior to TBI. Our routine premedication of phenobarbitone and corticosteroid was also administered to all patients. All patients had received high dose melphalan the previous evening. Only 1 of the 10 patients in the ondansetron group experienced an emetic event compared with 5 of the 10 in the comparison group (p = 0.029). No significant adverse events were observed. Ondansetron appears to have extremely useful antiemetic activity during single fraction low dose rate TBI.

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