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Are orange lollies effective in preventing nausea and vomiting related to dimethyl sulfoxide? A multicenter randomized trial

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Nausea and vomiting (NV) related to DMSO affect patients undergoing auto-SCT despite antiemetic measures. Orange flavoring may reduce gastrointestinal symptoms.


A multicenter, randomized, three-arm, open-label trial in four Italian large bone marrow transplant centers was conducted to assess the effectiveness of orange aroma in preventing NV related to DMSO. Patients were randomized to orange ice lollies, non-citrus ice lollies, and routine treatment (deep breaths) during reinfusion. Data on NV were collected up to 5 days after infusion; 69/98 patients were randomized: 23 to orange, 21 to non-citrus ice lollies, and 25 to routine treatment.


Although 48 h after transplantation no differences were observed in controlled nausea (Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) 0–100, ≤25) or vomiting, significantly fewer patients had no episodes of vomiting, no antiemetic rescue therapy, and no nausea (NRS <5) in the deep breath vs lollies groups (P = 0.017). The intensity of nausea over time differed significantly between ice lollies vs routine care (P = 0.001) groups, but not between the orange and non-citrus groups (P = 0.428).


The vasoconstrictive action of ice may prevent NV related to DMSO in the acute phase and reduce the need for rescue antiemetic therapy. Ice lollies offer a simple, noninvasive, and economic means for relieving nausea and vomiting related to this preservative.

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Our thanks to nurses for helping identify potential participants and for data collection, but especially the study participants who agreed to try the intervention even during a time of illness. This work was supported by Fondazione Neoplasie Sangue Onlus (FO.NE.SA).

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Correspondence to Silvia Gonella.

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Gonella, S., Berchialla, P., Bruno, B. et al. Are orange lollies effective in preventing nausea and vomiting related to dimethyl sulfoxide? A multicenter randomized trial. Support Care Cancer 22, 2417–2424 (2014).

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