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Posted by on Nov 24, 2018 in Breast cancer | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study wanted to find out if adding a medication called olanzapine (Zyprexa) to the current treatment methods helps reduce vomiting and nausea in patients with breast cancer who are receiving chemotherapy with anthracycline. The study found that adding in olanzapine to standard treatment helped reduce vomiting and nausea compared to just using the standard treatment.

Some background

An unfortunate side effect of chemotherapy is nausea and vomiting. This is especially true in breast cancer patients who are treated with anthracyclines. Currently, a combination of three medications is used to prevent nausea and vomiting. The combination is three drugs called aprepitant (Emend), palonosteron (Aloxi), and dexamethasone (Decadron). It is not known if adding olanzapine to this treatment will help.

Methods & findings

This study had 130 patients. All of these patients had breast cancer, and were being treated with anthracyclines. Of these, 22 received olanzapine in addition to the standard treatment. The remaining 108 patients only had the standard treatment.

Overall it was found that 27.3% of patients who received olanzapine did not experience nausea, compared to 22.2% of patients who received standard treatment. 100% of the patients who received olanzapine did not experience vomiting. This was compared to 89.8% of patients who received standard treatment.

The bottom line

This study found that adding olanzapine to standard treatment resulted in a decrease in vomiting and feelings of nausea in patients with breast cancer undergoing treatment with anthracyclines.

The fine print

This is a small study. It is difficult to know how much of the nausea that the patients experienced was because they expected to feel nausea, as it is a well-known side effect of chemotherapy. This study should be repeated on a larger scale to see how accurate the results were.

What’s next?

Talk to your oncologist about adding olanzapine to your treatment.  

Published By :

Scientific reports

Date :

Nov 02, 2018

Original Title :

Olanzapine plus aprepitant, palonosetron, and dexamethasone for nausea and vomiting in patients with breast cancer receiving anthracycline: A retrospective study.

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