Prevention of vinorelbine phlebitis with cimetidine
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One hundred eighteen patients with various malignancies received a total of 847 vinorelbine (VNR) infusions, during 25 of which episodes of vinorelbine phlebitis occurred (1 in each of the 25 patients concerned). Venous irritation was graded with reference to the scale devised by Rittenberg et al. To prevent these 25 patients against further venous toxicity, we pretreated them with cimetidine 200 mg i.v. prior to VNR administration in subsequent cycles of chemotherapy. In most (19, or 76%) complete prevention of recurrent phlebitis was observed, while partial prevention was observed in 5 patients (20%). Treatment was unsuccessful in 1 patient. In 127 VNR infusions given after cimetidine prophylaxis only 7 (6%) episodes of phlebitis occurred. These data show that i.v. administration of cimetidine prior to vinorelbine infusion can successfully prevent recurrence of phlebitis in patients who have shown venous irritation upon prior VNR treatment, at a rate of 94%.
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