The efficacy of haloperidol in the management of nausea and vomiting in patients with cancer

Hardy, Janet R., O'Shea, Angela, White, Clare, Gilshenan, Kristen, Welch, Louise and Douglas, Carol (2010) The efficacy of haloperidol in the management of nausea and vomiting in patients with cancer. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 40 1: 111-116. doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2009.11.321

Author Hardy, Janet R.
O'Shea, Angela
White, Clare
Gilshenan, Kristen
Welch, Louise
Douglas, Carol
Title The efficacy of haloperidol in the management of nausea and vomiting in patients with cancer
Journal name Journal of Pain and Symptom Management   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0885-3924
Publication date 2010-07-01
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2009.11.321
Open Access Status
Volume 40
Issue 1
Start page 111
End page 116
Total pages 6
Editor Russell K. Portenoy
Place of publication Glenview, IL, United States
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Context: Haloperidol is used commonly for the control of nausea and vomiting (N/V) in palliative care patients, but there is very little evidence to support its use.

Objectives: To assess the efficacy of haloperidol as an antiemetic in patients with cancer and N/V not related to cancer treatment.

Methods: Patients with an N/V score of at least 1 on a 4-point scale were prescribed either oral or subcutaneous haloperidol. N/V and toxicity were assessed daily for the duration of the study (maximum five days) by both the patient and an observer (health professional).

Results: At Day 2, 33 of 42 (79%) treated patients were assessable for response. Eight (24%; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 10%–39%) patients had complete control of N/V and 12 (36%; 95% CI: 20%–53%) had partial control, giving an overall response rate of 61% (95% CI: 44%–77%). At Day 5, 23 patients were assessable for response. The overall response rate was 17 of 23 (74%; 95% CI: 56%–92%). If all patients are included in the response analysis, the overall response rates at Days 2 and 5 were 47% and 40%, respectively.

Conclusion: Haloperidol has some efficacy in the treatment of N/V in this patient group. The results from this uncontrolled study provide pilot data from which to plan future controlled trials of antiemetics in the palliative care population.
© 2010 U.S. Cancer Pain Relief Committee
Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Keyword Haloperidol
Palliative care
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 14 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 28 Feb 2011, 22:41:22 EST by Debbie Banks on behalf of !NON-HERDC