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Effectiveness of Oral 5-HT3 Receptor Antagonists for Emetogenic Chemotherapy

Paula J. Anastasia
ONF 2000, 27(3), 483-493 DOI: 10.1188/00.ONF.483-493

Purpose/Objectives: To review the efficacy and safety of the oral 5-hydroxytryptamine3 (5-HT3) receptor antagonists and the use of oral and i.v. antiemetic therapy during and after hospital admission.

Data Sources: Articles in medical and nursing literature.

Data Synthesis: Use of oral antiemetics may help patients avoid potential complications associated with i.v. administration and be more convenient. They also are likely to lower staff and materials costs compared to i.v. formulations. Oral granisetron is the only oral antiemetic approved in the United States for use with highly emetogenic chemotherapy regimens. Oral dolasetron and ondansetron are indicated for use with moderately emetogenic chemotherapy.

Conclusions: Oral therapy is preferable to i.v. formulations for most patients. The oral 5-HT3 receptor antagonists approved for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting include dolasetron, granisetron, and ondansetron. Oral granisetron is differentiated for its safety, efficacy, and use in highly and moderately emetogenic chemotherapy.

Implications for Nursing Practice: Oral antiemetics are preferable to i.v. antiemetics because of decreased total costs and greater convenience for patients who are able to ingest oral medication.

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