Ondansetron rapidly dissolving film for the prophylactic treatment of radiation-induced nausea and vomiting—a pilot study

E. Wong, N. Pulenzas, G. Bedard, C. DeAngelis, L. Zhang, M. Tsao, C. Danjoux, N. Thavarajah, B. Lechner, R. McDonald, P.M. Cheon, E. Chow



The purpose of the present study was to investigate the efficacy of an ondansetron rapidly dissolving film (rdf) in the prophylaxis of radiation-induced nausea and vomiting (rinv). Rapidly dissolving film formulations facilitate drug delivery in circumstances in which swallowing the medication might be difficult for the patient.


Patients undergoing palliative radiotherapy at risk for rinv were prescribed ondansetron rdf 8 mg twice daily while on treatment and were asked to complete a nausea and vomiting–specific daily diary, the Functional Living Index–Emesis (flie), and the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire–C15 Palliative (qlq-C15-pal). Patients were categorized as receiving primary or secondary prophylaxis based on whether they had already experienced emetic episodes. “Overall control” was defined as a maximum increase of 2 episodes of nausea or vomiting from baseline. “Acute phase” was defined as the days during radiation until the first day after radiation; “delayed phase” was defined as days 2–10 after radiation.


The study accrued 30 patients. Rates of overall control for nausea and for vomiting during the acute phase in the primary prophylaxis group were 88% and 93% respectively; during the delayed phase, they were 73% and 75%. Rates of overall control for nausea and for vomiting during the acute phase in the secondary prophylaxis group were both 100%; during the delayed phase, they were 50%. The number of nausea and vomiting episodes was found to be significantly correlated with the flie and qlq-C15-pal questionnaires.


Ondansetron rdf is effective for the prophylaxis of rinv.


radiation-induced nausea and vomiting; prophylaxis; ondansetron; rapidly dissolving film

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3747/co.22.2395

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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)