• Canine;
  • Chemotherapy;
  • Gastrointestinal;
  • Oncology

Background: Vomiting, nausea, inappetence, and diarrhea are common delayed adverse effects of doxorubicin. Maropitant, a neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist, is known to prevent acute vomiting in dogs receiving cisplatin.

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of maropitant in preventing delayed vomiting after administration of doxorubicin to dogs.

Animals: Fifty-nine dogs with cancer.

Methods: This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study used a cross-over design. Dogs were randomized into 1 of 2 treatment groups. Group A received maropitant after the 1st doxorubicin, and placebo after the 2nd. Group B received placebo first, and maropitant second. Maropitant (2 mg/kg) or placebo tablets were administered PO for 5 days after doxorubicin treatment. Owners completed visual analog scales based on Veterinary Cooperative Oncology Group-Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events to grade their pet's clinical signs during the week after administration of doxorubicin. Statistical differences in gastrointestinal toxicosis and myelosuppression between maropitant and placebo treatments were evaluated.

Results: Significantly fewer dogs had vomiting (P= .001) or diarrhea (P= .041), and the severity of vomiting (P < .001) and diarrhea (P= .024) was less the week after doxorubicin when receiving maropitant compared with placebo. No differences were found between maropitant and placebo for other gastrointestinal and bone marrow toxicoses.

Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Maropitant is effective in preventing delayed vomiting induced by doxorubicin. Its prophylactic use might improve quality of life and decrease the need for dose reductions in certain dogs.