Medline: 1387245

Seminars in Oncology 19(4, Suppl 10): 1-8, 1992.

Pharmacology and preclinical antiemetic properties of ondansetron.

Tyers MB

Abstract:

Ondansetron (GR 38032) has potent and highly selective antagonist properties at the 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, serotonin) 5-HT3 receptor. The selectivity ratio for ondansetron on 5-HT3 receptors compared with actions on other neurotransmitter receptor types is greater than 1,000. The antiemetic properties of ondansetron have been determined in ferrets against the nausea and vomiting induced by cisplatin, cyclophosphamide, and whole-body radiation. Ondansetron (intravenous 0.01 to 0.1 mg/kg or subcutaneous 0.1 to 0.5 mg/kg) or metoclopramide (1.0 to 4.0 mg/kg) cause dose-dependent inhibitions of the vomiting induced by each of these procedures. Unlike ondansetron, the effects of metoclopramide are accompanied by moderate to marked behavioral depression. Since metoclopramide is 50 times more potent on dopamine D2 receptors than on 5-HT3 receptors, the behavioral depression is likely due to profound blockade of dopamine receptors. The 5-HT3 receptors have been shown to be present peripherally on vagal afferent fibers and are densely located in the vomiting center of the hindbrain. The current hypothesis is that there may be both a peripheral and a central site of action for ondansetron and other 5-HT3 antagonists. The lack of antagonist activity on dopamine and other non-5-HT3 receptors indicates that, unlike metoclopramide, ondansetron will not cause extrapyramidal or other dose-limiting side effects. (24 Refs)


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