Intranasal metoclopramide

Drugs. 1999 Aug;58(2):315-22; discussion 323-4. doi: 10.2165/00003495-199958020-00012.


Intranasal metoclopramide is a new formulation of an established and effective antiemetic drug. Absorption after intranasal administration was lower than after oral or intravenous administration; otherwise the pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic profiles of the intranasal and parenteral formulations were similar. Intranasal and intramuscular metoclopramide showed similar efficacy in the control of acute emesis induced by moderately emetogenic chemotherapy in 12 patients. Intranasal metoclopramide 80mg significantly reduced the frequency of acute vomiting in 43 patients receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy. A pilot study suggested that intranasal metoclopramide, with or without dexamethasone, may reduce cisplatin-induced delayed emesis. In a randomised crossover trial in 40 patients, intranasal metoclopramide or oral metoclopramide, both with dexamethasone, were equally effective in the control of delayed emesis induced by moderately-emetogenic chemotherapy. One 30 patient study suggests that intranasal metoclopramide has similar efficacy to oral metoclopramide in the treatment of functional dyspepsia. A non-significant trend to reducing postoperative nausea and vomiting has been seen in two trials of intranasal metoclopramide. Intranasal metoclopramide caused minor irritation of the nasal membrane and unpleasant taste in some patients, but was otherwise well tolerated. None of the more serious extrapyramidal effects sometimes associated with metoclopramide were reported.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Antiemetics / administration & dosage
  • Antiemetics / adverse effects
  • Antiemetics / pharmacology*
  • Antiemetics / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Metoclopramide / administration & dosage
  • Metoclopramide / adverse effects
  • Metoclopramide / pharmacology*
  • Metoclopramide / therapeutic use*


  • Antiemetics
  • Metoclopramide