Pharmacotherapeutic Considerations for Use of Cannabinoids to Relieve Symptoms of Nausea and Vomiting Induced by Chemotherapy.
Patients suffering from malignant diseases receive very often highly emetogenic chemotherapy as part of their treatment. With the aim of assessing the efficacy of cannabinoids in treating chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), we searched the literature published until April 2020 in Medline/PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, and in specific web pages. Randomized clinical trials comparing cannabinoids efficacy in managing CINV with that of placebo reported absence of vomit-ing (3 trials, 168 patients) and absence of nausea and vomiting (3 trials, 288 participants). In comparison with patients receiving other antiemetics, patients receiving cannabinoids reported no nausea (5 trials, 258 participants), no vomiting (4 trials, 209 participants), and absence of both (4 trials, 414 patients). Across all trials, cannabinoids were more effective in relieving the symptoms of nausea and vomiting induced by cytotoxic therapy than placebo was and slightly better than conventional antiemetics. A retrospective review com-paring nabilone, dronabinol, delta-9-THC, and delta 8-THC with other antiemetics used to manage CINV in pediatric patients showed that these drugs could also be used as adjuvant antiemetics. Cancer patients on highly emetogenic chemotherapy but with insufficiently effective standard antiemetic therapy can be given cannabis preparations containing similar amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol and can-nabidiol, which should be received in strict compliance with the professional guidelines for the treatment of CINV.
Keywords: cannabidiol; cannabis; nausea; tetrahydrocannabinol; vomiting.