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A total of 530 patients were treated in this multicenter, double-blind, double-dummy, parallel group study to compare the anti-emetic efficacy and safety of a once daily ondansetron oral regimen with a once daily i.v. dosing regimen over a 24 h period, administered to patients prior to receiving cisplatin (50 mg/m2 or greater) chemotherapy. Patients were randomized to receive a single dose of ondansetron plus dexamethasone given either orally (ondansetron 24 mg and dexamethasone 12 mg, n=262) or i.v. (ondansetron 8 mg and dexamethasone 20 mg, n=268). Complete control of emesis (i.e. no emetic episodes, no rescue and no premature withdrawal) was achieved for 85% of patients (224 of 262) in the oral group and 83% (223 of 268) in the i.v. group. No nausea was reported in 70% of patients in the oral group and 68% in the i.v. group. There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups for any of the assessments of efficacy, which included time to first emetic episode, number of emetic episodes and the worst grade of nausea occurring over the 24 h study period. Once daily ondansetron oral and i.v., in combination with dexamethasone, was well tolerated in this study. In conclusion, once daily oral ondansetron 24 mg plus dexamethasone is equally effective in the control of emesis and nausea induced by highly emetogenic chemotherapy as once daily ondansetron 8 mg I.v. plus dexamethasone.