An update on palonosetron hydrochloride for the treatment of radio/chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting

Alessandra Fabi, Paola Malaguti
Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy 2013, 14 (5): 629-41

INTRODUCTION: Nausea and vomiting are well recognized in different clinical situations, suggesting that no single mechanism is likely to be responsible for their production. Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) can have a negative impact on quality of life and this may lead to a refusal of curative therapy or to a decline in palliative benefits offered by cytotoxic treatment. Palonosetron is a new agent in the class of 5-HT3 receptor antagonists (5-HT3RAs), and differs from the other agents by its higher receptor-binding affinity and longer half-life. These pharmacological properties have resulted in improved antiemetic activity in clinical trials, particularly in the treatment of delayed CINV following moderate emetogenic chemotherapy (MEC).

AREA COVERED: A systematic review of the medical literature was completed to inform this update. MEDLINE, the Cochrane Collaboration Library and meeting materials from ASCO and MASCC were all searched.

EXPERT OPINION: Palonosetron was the only serotonin receptor antagonist approved for prevention of delayed CINV caused by MEC and its use was incorporated in guideline recommendations. To date, several treatment settings such as multiple day chemotherapy require further studies to improve emesis related to therapy.


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