Gastroparesis-Associated Refractory Nausea Treated with Aprepitant (December).
Ann Pharmacother. 2012 Nov 27;
Authors: Fahler J, Wall GC, Leman BI
OBJECTIVE:To report a case of refractory nausea in a patient with idiopathic gastroparesis successfully treated with aprepitant.CASE SUMMARY:A 41-year-old female with idiopathic gastroparesis demonstrated by a delayed gastric emptying time experienced significant nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. This resulted in numerous hospital admissions and regular outpatient intravenous fluid administration. Over a 3-year period the patient had been treated with numerous agents for nausea and vomiting, including metoclopramide 10 mg 3 times daily, ondansetron 8 mg 2 times daily, and promethazine (various doses from 12.5 to 25 mg orally up to 3 times daily). No treatment tried was either tolerated or effective. As a last option before considering gastric pacing the patient was started on aprepitant 40 mg daily. The patient had a dramatic response to aprepitant and reported that her nausea had decreased significantly after 48 hours of starting the medication (2 doses). She was able to tolerate oral feeding and her need for outpatient intravenous hydration abated. Over the course of 2 months while using aprepitant her gastroparesis symptoms continued to improve. She reported no adverse effects attributable to aprepitant. After the first 2 months of aprepitant treatment, the patient was unable to continue the medication due to cost. Although her symptoms did worsen after discontinuation, they did not return to their initial severity. At 4 months after the trial of aprepitant, she continued to have improved symptoms. She claimed not to have daily nausea or vomiting, but still required high-dose promethazine and occasional outpatient intravenous fluids. At that point, she had gained 7.2 kg from the time that she had started aprepitant.DISCUSSION:Aprepitant, a neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist, is approved in the US for nausea and vomiting associated with surgery and cancer chemotherapy. To our knowledge, this is the second reported case of its use in gastroparesis-induced nausea. Our patient reported relief of nausea and vomiting despite existing evidence showing that aprepitant has no significant effect on accelerating gastric emptying. Despite its acquisition cost, our patient avoided hospital admission and the administration of intravenous hydration, suggesting aprepitant may be cost-effective in this case.CONCLUSIONS:Aprepitant may have some utility in treating refractory nausea caused by gastroparesis. This case suggests that the drug's antiemetic effect may be successfully used in areas not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. A controlled trial examining aprepitant in patients with such challenging clinical conditions may be warranted.
PMID: 23191934 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]