Taurine Attenuates Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Amino Acids. 2015 Jan;47(1):101-9. doi: 10.1007/s00726-014-1840-x. Epub 2014 Oct 17.


Taurine has multiple physiological activities and it is decreased by chemotherapy. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the effect of oral taurine supplementation on the incidence of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Forty young patients aged over 16 (range: 16-23 years) suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia (all receiving same chemotherapy regimen) were recruited for the study at the beginning of maintenance course of their chemotherapy. The study population was randomized in a double-blind manner to receive either taurine or placebo (2 g per day orally, divided into two doses, taken 6 h after chemotherapeutic agents) for 6 months. Life quality and adverse effects including nausea and vomiting, taste and smell alterations, and weariness were assessed using a questionnaire. Data were analyzed using Pearson's Chi-square test. Of 40 participants, 32 finished the study (14 female and 18 male; mean age 19.2 ± 1.9 years). Four treatment and four placebo arm patients discontinued: one immigrated from the province, one died during the study, and six refused to continue. The results indicated that taurine-supplemented patients reported a significant (P < 0.05) improvement in chemotherapy-induced nausea and/or vomiting after taking taurine during study. Taurine significantly improved chemotherapy-induced taste and smell alterations (P < 0.05). Moreover, taurine significantly reduced weariness compared to placebo group (P < 0.05). This study showed that taurine co-administration decreased chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting during the maintenance therapy in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nausea / drug therapy*
  • Nausea / etiology
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / drug therapy*
  • Taurine / administration & dosage*
  • Vomiting / drug therapy*
  • Vomiting / etiology
  • Young Adult


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Taurine