Custom Search


Thursday 01 June 2000

Tropisetron: an update of its use in the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

By: Simpson K, Spencer CM, McClellan KJ.

Drugs 2000 Jun;59(6):1297-315

Tropisetron is a serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) antagonist that is primarily used in the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Antagonism of 5-HT3 binding sites in the peripheral and central nervous system is the probable mechanism of prevention of acute nausea and vomiting. Effects on delayed nausea and vomiting are less well understood as these are probably not mediated solely by 5-HT3 receptors. Tropisetron monotherapy is effective for the control of acute, and to a lesser extent delayed, nausea and vomiting in patients receiving moderately to severely emetogenic chemotherapy. The combination of dexamethasone and tropisetron is more effective than monotherapy. Complete control of cisplatin-induced nausea and vomiting was obtained in 69 to 97% of patients receiving the combination compared with 46 to 80% receiving tropisetron monotherapy in randomised trials. There were generally no significant differences between the control of acute or delayed nausea and vomiting provided by tropisetron, ondansetron or granisetron in randomised, comparative trials. The antiemetic efficacy of tropisetron was maintained over multiple cycles of chemotherapy. Most comparative studies showed tropisetron monotherapy to be more effective than metoclopramide in controlling acute nausea and vomiting, with the exception of 1 study which showed similar efficacy. However, high dose metoclopramide plus dexamethasone provided similar control of delayed emesis to tropisetron plus dexamethasone. Tropisetron is also effective in children, including those who responded poorly to previous antiemetic treatment. Tropisetron and ondansetron generally have similar efficacies in this population. The drug enhanced patients' quality of life and was well tolerated by adults and children alike. The recommended oral and IV dosage of tropisetron is 5 mg once daily; there is no increase in efficacy with doses >5 mg. CONCLUSIONS: Tropisetron is similar to other 5-HT3 receptor antagonists for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in both adults and children. It is suitable as first-line therapy (combined with a corticosteroid) for the prevention of acute nausea and vomiting in patients treated with moderately to severely emetogenic chemotherapeutic agents. This combination is also moderately effective in the prevention of delayed nausea and vomiting.

Use of this site is subject to the following terms of use