The latest consensus on antiemetics

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Purpose of review

The present review summarizes and discuss the most recent updated antiemetic consensus.

Recent findings

Two new neurokinin (NK)1-receptor antagonists, netupitant and rolapitant, have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency and incorporated in the latest versions of the MASCC/ESMO, ASCO, and NCCN guidelines. Guidelines all recommend a combination of a serotonin (5-HT)3-receptor antagonist, dexametha-sone, and a NK1-receptor antagonist in patients receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy (HEC) with the addition of the multireceptor targeting agent, olanzapine, as an option in cisplatin or anthracycline-cyclophosphamide chemotherapy. A combination of a 5-HT3-receptor antagonist, dexamethasone, and a NK1-receptor antagonist is also recommended in patients receiving carboplatin-based chemotherapy, although based on a lower level of evidence. In spite of the development of new antiemetics, nausea has remained a significant adverse effect. Olanzapine is an effective antinausea agent, but sedation can be a problem. Therefore, the effect and tolerability of multitargeting, nonsedative agents like amisulpride, should be explored.


Guidelines recommend a combination of a 5-HT3-receptor antagonist, dexamethasone, and an NK1-receptor antagonist in HEC and carboplatin-based chemotherapy. The addition of olanzapine can be useful in cisplatin-based and anthracycline-cyclophosphamide-based chemotherapy in particular if the main problem is nausea.

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