Compatibility and Stability of 5-HT3 Receptor Antagonists: A Pharmacology Review

Viki Longfield

ONF 2002, 29(10), 1469-1482. DOI: 10.1188/02.ONF.1469-1482

Purpose/Objectives: To compare stability and compatibility among the 5-HT3 antiemetics in multidrug cytotoxic regimens.

Data Sources: Published articles, product-prescribing information, and direct communication with manufacturers.

Data Synthesis: Stability and compatibility of ondansetron and granisetron with a variety of other agents used in the oncology setting generally are similar. Granisetron is compatible with all tested Y-site drugs; ondansetron is not compatible with amsacrine or fluorouracil. Information for dolasetron is not as readily available; therefore, comparisons are difficult to make.

Conclusion: Although 5-HT3 receptor antagonists have made a significant impact in decreasing severe emesis, administration of complex regimens can be confusing at best for nurses because of the lack of compatibility data. By partnering with pharmacists, nurses can develop administration guidelines to minimize complications and improve outcomes.

Implications for Nursing: To maximize patients' outcomes, oncology nurses must be knowledgeable about stability and compatibility of complex multidrug regimens that include the commonly used 5-HT3 receptor antagonist antiemetics.

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