The antiemetic efficacy of tropisetron plus dexamethasone as compared with conventional metoclopramide-dexamethasone combination in Orientals receiving cisplatin chemotherapy: a randomized crossover trial

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1996 May;41(5):403-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2125.1996.03268.x.


1. We report a single-blind randomized crossover trial comparing the efficacy of tropisetron plus dexamethasone (TROPDEX) vs conventional combination of metoclopramide, dexamethasone and diphenhydramine (METDEX) in prevention of acute and delayed vomiting in Chinese patients receiving high dose cisplatin. 2. Thirty-six consecutive patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma were entered into the study, all received cisplatin at a dose range of 60-100 mg/m2. Patients were randomized in the sequence of antiemetic regimens used in two consecutive cycles. 3. The TROPDEX regimen consisting of tropisetron 5 mg i.v. and dexamethasone 20 mg i.v. given on day 1 of chemotherapy, followed by oral maintenance with tropisetron 5 mg daily and dexamethasone 4 mg twice daily from day 2 to 6. The METDEX regimen consisting of metoclopramide 1 mg kg-1 i.v., dexamethasone 20 mg i.v. and diphenhydramine 25 mg i.v. given before chemotherapy and then 2 hourly for two more doses on day 1, followed by oral metoclopramide 20 mg 6 hourly from day 2 to 6. 4. Complete control of acute vomiting was observed in 64% of patients with TROPDEX as compared with 14% with METDEX (P < 0.01). While complete plus major control of acute vomiting was observed in 84% with TROPDEX as compared with 58% with METDEX. The mean vomiting episodes on day 1 were 1.4 with TROPDEX as compared with 3.5 with METDEX (P < 0.01). There was, however, no significant difference between the two regimens in the control of delayed vomiting. 5. When patients randomized to TROPDEX in the second cycle were compared with those with TROPDEX in the first cycle, the antiemetic efficacy was reduced, with mean acute vomiting episodes of 2 in the former compared with 0.8 in the latter (P < 0.01). 6. The most common adverse effect observed was headache in TROPDEX (27%) and dizziness in METDEX (40%). 7. In conclusion, the antiemetic regimen TROPDEX is effective in Chinese patients receiving high dose cisplatin chemotherapy and is well tolerated. It is better than conventional METDEX regimen in the control of acute vomiting, but not in the control of delayed vomiting.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antiemetics / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • Cisplatin / adverse effects*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dexamethasone / therapeutic use*
  • Diphenhydramine / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Indoles / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Metoclopramide / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Tropisetron
  • Vomiting / chemically induced
  • Vomiting / prevention & control*


  • Antiemetics
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Indoles
  • Tropisetron
  • Dexamethasone
  • Diphenhydramine
  • Metoclopramide
  • Cisplatin