A randomized trial of oral nabilone and prochlorperazine compared to intravenous metoclopramide and dexamethasone in the treatment of nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy regimens containing cisplatin or cisplatin analogues

Eur J Cancer Clin Oncol. 1988 Apr;24(4):685-9. doi: 10.1016/0277-5379(88)90300-8.


Eighty patients receiving their first course of chemotherapy with regimens containing cisplatin or cisplatin analogues entered this open crossover study comparing nabilone 2 mg and prochlorperazine 5 mg given orally every 12 h for four doses against metoclopramide 2 mg/kg loading dose intravenously (i.v.), then 3 mg/kg as an (i.v.) infusion over 8 h and dexamethasone 20 mg (i.v.) over 3-5 min at the time of chemotherapy. There was complete control of nausea and vomiting in 24 patients (32%) given metoclopramide and dexamethasone compared to 14 patients (19%) given nabilone and prochlorperazine. For the 70 patients who completed the crossover assessment of emesis on a linear analogue scale significantly favoured metoclopramide and dexamethasone (P = 0.02). However, there was no overall patient preference for the metoclopramide and dexamethasone combination (nabilone and prochlorperazine 31 vs. metoclopramide and dexamethasone 26; 13 no preference), because a significant proportion of the patients receiving the cisplatin analogue carboplatin preferred nabilone and prochlorperazine (16 vs. 5; 1 no preference; P = 0.013). For patients receiving cisplatin chemotherapy metoclopramide and dexamethasone remains the antiemetic of choice but for regimens containing carboplatin, nabilone and prochlorperazine is better tolerated and preferred by the patients.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antiemetics / therapeutic use*
  • Cisplatin / adverse effects*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dexamethasone / therapeutic use
  • Dronabinol / analogs & derivatives
  • Dronabinol / therapeutic use
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metoclopramide / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Nausea / prevention & control*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Prochlorperazine / therapeutic use
  • Random Allocation
  • Vomiting / prevention & control*


  • Antiemetics
  • nabilone
  • Dronabinol
  • Dexamethasone
  • Metoclopramide
  • Cisplatin
  • Prochlorperazine