Drug for Radiation-Induced Nausea and Vomiting

Author: Monica Preboth
Date: Nov 15, 1999

Granisetron (Kytril), a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of nausea and vomiting associated with radiation, including total body irradiation and fractionated abdominal radiation. Granisetron is currently approved for the prevention of nausea and vomiting associated with emetogenic cancer therapies, including high-dose cisplatin.

In clinical trials of patients undergoing total body irradiation for bone marrow transplantation, 22 percent of those who received granisetron did not experience vomiting or receive rescue antiemetics, compared with zero percent in a historical negative control group. In addition, patients who received granisetron also had fewer emetic episodes during the first day of radiation and over the four-day treatment period, compared with patients in the control group. Adverse events included headache, diarrhea and asthenia.

In another trial of patients receiving fractionated upper abdominal radiation for cancer, granisetron provided significantly greater protection from nausea and vomiting than placebo. Adverse events in this trial included diarrhea, asthenia and constipation.

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