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Aprepitant for Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting

Linda A. Flemm
CJON 2004, 8(3), 303-306 DOI: 10.1188/04.CJON.303-306

Although the development of serotonin receptor antagonists has greatly improved treatment for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, patients receiving chemotherapy continue to experience this troublesome side effect. On March 26, 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved aprepitant (Emend®, Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ) for use in combination with standard antiemetic agents for acute and delayed nausea and vomiting with initial and repeat courses of highly emetogenic therapy. Aprepitant appears to provide superior control of acute and delayed emesis compared to standard antiemetic therapy. Aprepitant was well tolerated in phase III studies, with side effects similar to standard therapy. Healthcare providers need to be aware of potential drug interactions with aprepitant. Oncology nurses continue to play a key role in helping patients adhere to their antiemetic schedules, stressing the importance of prevention of nausea and vomiting.

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