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As part of an open dose-ranging study, the pharmacokinetics of granisetron (BRL 43694A), a selective 5-HT3 receptor antagonist given by the i.v. route, was studied in 18 patients receiving highly emetogenic cytotoxic drugs, predominantly cisplatin, either alone or in combination with other cytostatic agents. All patients received 30-min infusions of granisetron at a dose of 40 micrograms/kg. Nine showed complete absence of the gastrointestinal side effects normally associated with cisplatin, and in the majority of the remaining patients, the onset and severity of nausea was significantly modified. No acute side effects were observed at this dose and the drug was well tolerated in all cases. Peak plasma concentrations and area under the curve (AUC) values for granisetron showed considerable inter-patient variation. Higher plasma levels of granisetron were observed at 5 h in responding patients compared with those in whom the drug was ineffective in controlling emesis (P less than 0.05). AUC values were higher in responding patients, but this difference was not statistically significant. There was apparently no defined plasma concentration threshold for the drug's anti-emetic effect in these patients. Granisetron seems to be an effective and safe anti-emetic in patients receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy. Further exploration of its dose scheduling and pharmacokinetic profile is warranted.


Journal article


Cancer Chemother Pharmacol

Publication Date





45 - 49


Adult, Aged, Antiemetics, Basal Metabolism, Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid, Cisplatin, Female, Granisetron, Half-Life, Humans, Indazoles, Male, Middle Aged, Nausea, Pyrazoles, Serotonin Antagonists