A prospective randomized trial of the antiemetic efficacy and cost-effectiveness of intravenous and orally disintegrating tablet of ondansetron in children with cancer

Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2005 Mar;22(2):103-14. doi: 10.1080/08880010590896468.


Orally disintegrating tablet (ODT) of ondansetron is a new formulation, which instantaneously disintegrates and disperses in the saliva without need for ingestion of a liquid. This makes the formulation suitable for administration in children. The objective of this study was to compare the relative efficacy and cost of ODT and intravenous (IV) formulation of ondansetron in controlling nausea and vomiting in children receiving chemotherapy regimens without cisplatin. This prospective randomized trial was performed in a single institution to compare ODT and IV formulation of ondansetron for the prevention of acute emesis in a group of 22 children. Study agents were administered 30 min before chemotherapy and 12 hourly after chemotherapy (5 mg/m2 IV or 4-8 mg oral according to body surface area in 56 and 39 courses, respectively). After randomization, IV formulation was administered to some children instead of ODT due to unavailability of this formulation. Complete and major control of emesis was obtained in 92% of patients in the IV group and 93% of patients in the ODT group. In 56 courses with grade III-IV emetogenicity, complete response rates were not different between the two treatment arms. In the courses without corticosteroids complete response rates were not also different between the two arms. The mean costs per successfully controlled courses were 121.3 USD for the IV formulation whereas 63.2 USD for the ODT formulation. The results of this study confirmed that ODT formulation of ondansetron is a safe, well-tolerated, and cost-effective antiemetic for children during non-cisplatin-containing moderately and highly emetogenic chemotherapy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Antiemetics / administration & dosage*
  • Antiemetics / economics
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ondansetron / administration & dosage*
  • Ondansetron / economics
  • Solubility
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vomiting / prevention & control


  • Antiemetics
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Ondansetron