Purpose: The aim of this paper is to review the existing literature related to the management of nausea and vomiting (N & V) in advanced cancer and derive clinical evidence-based recommendations for its management. Methods: Available systematic reviews on antiemetic drug effectiveness were used. One generic systematic review of antiemetics in advanced cancer (to 2009) was updated to February 2016. Agreement on recommendations was reached between panel members, and these were voted in favor unanimously by the larger antiemetic committee membership (n = 37). Results: The evidence base in this field is minimal with largely poor quality trials or uncontrolled trials and case studies. The level of evidence in most studies is low. The drug of choice for managing N & V in advanced cancer is metoclopramide titrated to effect. Alternative options include haloperidol, levomepromazine, or olanzapine. For bowel obstruction, the recommendation is to use octreotide given alongside an antiemetic (haloperidol) and where octreotide is not an option to use an anticholinergic antisecretory agent. For opioid-induced N & V, no recommendation could be made. Conclusion: These new guidelines, based on the existing (but poor) evidence, could help clinicians manage more effectively the complex and challenging symptoms of N & V in advanced cancer.
- Palliative care
ASJC Scopus subject areas