BACKGROUND - Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) is one of the most distressing side effects of moderately or highly emetogenic chemotherapy. Diphenhydramine, lorazepam, and dexamethasone have been used individually to treat CINV. The objective of this study was to evaluate the safety and potential efficacy of those drugs administered via a patient controlled pump (BAD pump) to control CINV.
PROCEDURE - A retrospective chart review was conducted of all pediatric oncology patients who received the BAD pump. Emetic episodes, doses of rescue medications to treat breakthrough nausea or vomiting, and occurrence of adverse events were recorded. Complete response (CR) was defined as no emesis or rescue medications, partial response (PR) as emesis but no rescue medications, and failure (F) as rescue medications required.
RESULTS - Thirty patients received a total of 141 courses. Adverse events occurred in 4.2% of the courses; confusion (n = 2), depressed mood (n = 1), dysphoria (n = 1), agitation (n = 1), and restlessness (n = 1). All side effects resolved after decreasing the infusion rate, and the pump was not discontinued in any patients. Eighteen patients failed conventional prophylaxis and received BAD pump for identical subsequent chemotherapy cycles; they spent more days in CR with BAD pump than without it, 21 versus 45 days (P = .003) respectively. Patients receiving BAD pump had significantly shorter hospital stay with BAD pump than those not receiving it, 68 days versus 76 (P = .046).
CONCLUSIONS - BAD pump is well tolerated in pediatric patients receiving chemotherapy and may be more effective than conventional prophylaxis in controlling CINV in some patients.
(c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.