Effects of ondansetron on gastrointestinal symptoms in carcinoid syndrome

Eur J Cancer. 1998 Jul;34(8):1293-4. doi: 10.1016/s0959-8049(98)00009-4.


The effect of short-term treatment with the highly selective serotonin receptor antagonist ondansetron on symptoms and gastric emptying in 11 carcinoid patients was studied. Diarrhoea improved in 6 of 6 patients, nausea in 3 of 4 patients. Flushing was not affected. The rate of gastric emptying increased during ondansetron treatment (P = 0.08). No changes in serotonin in platelets and urinary excretion of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid were found. It is concluded that ondansetron can improve gastrointestinal symptoms in carcinoid patients and possibly slows gastric emptying.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diarrhea / prevention & control*
  • Flushing / prevention & control*
  • Gastric Emptying / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Malignant Carcinoid Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nausea / prevention & control*
  • Ondansetron / therapeutic use*
  • Serotonin Antagonists / therapeutic use*


  • Serotonin Antagonists
  • Ondansetron