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Cochrane on Corticosteroids for Nausea, Vomiting

Cochrane; 2017 Jul 3; Vayne-Bossert, et al

There is not enough quality evidence to support or refute the efficacy of corticosteroids on nausea and vomiting not related to chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or surgery in adults with cancer, according to a Cochrane review of 3 studies involving 451 individuals.

2 studies compared dexamethasone to placebo. The third looked at other medicines in various combinations, including metoclopramide, chlorpromazine, tropisetron, and dexamethasone. Among the findings:

  • There was very low-quality evidence of the effects of steroids on nausea and vomiting in cancer patients.
  • There was no evidence about how steroids work in different types of cancer.
  • There were few reported side effects, and the drugs were generally well tolerated.


Vayne-Bossert P, Haywood A, Good P, Khan S, Rickett K, Hardy J. Corticosteroids for adult patients with advanced cancer who have nausea and vomiting (not related to chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or surgery). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2017, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD012002. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD012002.pub2.

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