Background: Malignant bowel obstruction is a highly symptomatic, often recurrent, and sometimes refractory condition in patients with intra-abdominal tumor burden. Gastro-intestinal symptoms and function may improve with anti-inflammatory, anti-secretory, and prokinetic/anti-nausea combination medical therapy.
Objective: To describe the effect of octreotide, metoclopramide, and dexamethasone in combination on symptom burden and bowel function in patients with malignant bowel obstruction and dysfunction.
Design: A retrospective case series of patients with malignant bowel obstruction (MBO) and malignant bowel dysfunction (MBD) treated by a palliative care consultation service with octreotide, metoclopramide, and dexamethasone. Outcomes measures were nausea, pain, and time to resumption of oral intake.
Results: 12 cases with MBO, 11 had moderate/severe nausea on presentation. 100% of these had improvement in nausea by treatment day #1. 100% of patients with moderate/severe pain improved to tolerable level by treatment day #1. The median time to resumption of oral intake was 2 days (range 1-6 days) in the 8 cases with evaluable data. Of 7 cases with MBD, 6 had For patients with malignant bowel dysfunction, of those with moderate/severe nausea. 5 of 6 had subjective improvement by day#1. Moderate/severe pain improved to tolerable levels in 5/6 by day #1. Of the 4 cases with evaluable data on resumption of PO intake, time to resume PO ranged from 1-4 days.
Conclusion: Combination medical therapy may provide rapid improvement in symptoms associated with malignant bowel obstruction and dysfunction.
Keywords: dexamethasone; malignant bowel dysfunction; malignant bowel obstruction; metoclopramide; octreotide.
© The Author(s) 2015.