What are the NCCN guidelines for prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV)?

Updated: May 31, 2018
  • Author: Winston W Tan, MD, FACP; more...
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NCCN guidelines state that the best management of acute or delayed CINV is prevention; patients should be protected before receiving chemotherapy and for the full period of risk (up to 4 days) afterward. General recommendations for prevention are as follows [1] :

  • Prevention of acute emesis should start before chemotherapy and continue for the first 24 hours
  • Choice of antiemetic agent should be based on the emetic risk of the chemotherapy regimen
  • Prevention of delayed emesis is a continuation of prophylactic treatment for 2 to 4 days following completion of chemotherapy
  • Because breakthrough/refractory emesis is difficult to reverse, prevention using routine around-the-clock administration of antiemetics is preferred over as-needed (PRN) dosing
  • Prevention is also key to the management of anticipatory emesis
  • Relaxation/systematic desensitization, hypnosis with guided imagery, and music therapy are behavioral interventions that may be considered for anticipatory emesis; acupuncture/acupressure are additional options
  • Consider using lorazepam as an adjuvant to the antiemetic regimen to decrease anxiety in patients at risk for anticipatory emesis
  • Consider using an H2 blocker or a proton pump inhibitor to prevent dyspepsia
  • Consider other potential causes of emesis in cancer patients (eg, bowel obstruction)

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