A study evaluating the efficacy and tolerability of tropisetron in combination with dexamethasone in the prevention of delayed platinum-induced nausea and emesis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BACKGROUND: Chemotherapy-induced emesis is one of the most disturbing side effects of cancer therapy. Control of acute emesis has improved substantially during recent years, but control of delayed emesis and nausea remains a challenging problem. The role of 5-HT3 receptor antagonists in the treatment of delayed emesis is disputed.

METHODS: Tropisetron, a highly specific 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, was compared (as an adjunct to dexamethasone) with placebo in a randomized, double blind, multicenter trial for the prevention of delayed emesis during platinum-containing chemotherapy. Three hundred chemotherapy-naive women with gynecologic malignancies were included. The cisplatin dose was in the range of 50-100 mg/m2.

RESULTS: Acute emesis was prevented completely in 87% of patients and acute nausea in 77% of patients in the complete series. During the complete delayed period (Days 2-6), total control of emesis was achieved in 77% of the dexamethasone and tropisetron-treated patients and in 72% of the patients receiving dexamethasone and placebo (P = 0.2473). During the same period nausea was controlled completely in 42% of the dexamethasone and tropisetron group and in 41% of the dexamethasone and placebo group. On Day 3, complete protection from nausea was achieved in 65% of patients receiving tropisetron and in 51% of patients receiving placebo (P = 0.0304). Constipation occurred more frequently in the tropisetron group.

CONCLUSIONS: Tropisetron added to dexamethasone improved control of delayed nausea on Day 3 compared with placebo. No significant differences were recorded regarding control of delayed emesis.


  • B G Sorbe
  • A M Berglind
  • H Andersson
  • K Boman
  • T Högberg
  • Monica Hallgren
  • M Schmidt
External organisations
  • Örebro University Hospital
  • Sahlgrenska University Hospital
  • Norrland University Hospital
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Uppsala University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology


  • Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Antiemetics/administration & dosage, Antineoplastic Agents/administration & dosage, Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/administration & dosage, Carboplatin/administration & dosage, Cisplatin/administration & dosage, Dexamethasone/administration & dosage, Double-Blind Method, Drug Therapy, Combination, Drug Tolerance, Female, Genital Neoplasms, Female/drug therapy, Humans, Indoles/administration & dosage, Middle Aged, Nausea/chemically induced, Serotonin Antagonists/administration & dosage, Time Factors, Tropisetron, Vomiting/chemically induced
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1022-1032
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Sep 1
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes