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Cannabinoids for nausea and vomiting in adults with cancer receiving chemotherapy

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, November 2015
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (98th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
9 news outlets
blogs
4 blogs
twitter
122 tweeters
facebook
12 Facebook pages
wikipedia
1 Wikipedia page
video
1 video uploader

Citations

dimensions_citation
74 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
271 Mendeley
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Title
Cannabinoids for nausea and vomiting in adults with cancer receiving chemotherapy
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, November 2015
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd009464.pub2
Pubmed ID
Authors

Lesley A Smith, Fredric Azariah, Verna TC Lavender, Nicola S Stoner, Silvana Bettiol

Abstract

Cannabis has a long history of medicinal use. Cannabis-based medications (cannabinoids) are based on its active element, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and have been approved for medical purposes. Cannabinoids may be a useful therapeutic option for people with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting that respond poorly to commonly used anti-emetic agents (anti-sickness drugs). However, unpleasant adverse effects may limit their widespread use. To evaluate the effectiveness and tolerability of cannabis-based medications for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in adults with cancer. We identified studies by searching the following electronic databases: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO and LILACS from inception to January 2015. We also searched reference lists of reviews and included studies. We did not restrict the search by language of publication. We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared a cannabis-based medication with either placebo or with a conventional anti-emetic in adults receiving chemotherapy. At least two review authors independently conducted eligibility and risk of bias assessment, and extracted data. We grouped studies based on control groups for meta-analyses conducted using random effects. We expressed efficacy and tolerability outcomes as risk ratio (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). We included 23 RCTs. Most were of cross-over design, on adults undergoing a variety of chemotherapeutic regimens ranging from moderate to high emetic potential for a variety of cancers. The majority of the studies were at risk of bias due to either lack of allocation concealment or attrition. Trials were conducted between 1975 and 1991. No trials involved comparison with newer anti-emetic drugs such as ondansetron. Comparison with placebo People had more chance of reporting complete absence of vomiting (3 trials; 168 participants; RR 5.7; 95% CI 2.6 to 12.6; low quality evidence) and complete absence of nausea and vomiting (3 trials; 288 participants; RR 2.9; 95% CI 1.8 to 4.7; moderate quality evidence) when they received cannabinoids compared with placebo. The percentage of variability in effect estimates that was due to heterogeneity rather than chance was not important (I(2) = 0% in both analyses).People had more chance of withdrawing due to an adverse event (2 trials; 276 participants; RR 6.9; 95% CI 1.96 to 24; I(2) = 0%; very low quality evidence) and less chance of withdrawing due to lack of efficacy when they received cannabinoids, compared with placebo (1 trial; 228 participants; RR 0.05; 95% CI 0.0 to 0.89; low quality evidence). In addition, people had more chance of 'feeling high' when they received cannabinoids compared with placebo (3 trials; 137 participants; RR 31; 95% CI 6.4 to 152; I(2) = 0%).People reported a preference for cannabinoids rather than placebo (2 trials; 256 participants; RR 4.8; 95% CI 1.7 to 13; low quality evidence). Comparison with other anti-emetics There was no evidence of a difference between cannabinoids and prochlorperazine in the proportion of participants reporting no nausea (5 trials; 258 participants; RR 1.5; 95% CI 0.67 to 3.2; I(2) = 63%; low quality evidence), no vomiting (4 trials; 209 participants; RR 1.11; 95% CI 0.86 to 1.44; I(2) = 0%; moderate quality evidence), or complete absence of nausea and vomiting (4 trials; 414 participants; RR 2.0; 95% CI 0.74 to 5.4; I(2) = 60%; low quality evidence). Sensitivity analysis where the two parallel group trials were pooled after removal of the five cross-over trials showed no difference (RR 1.1; 95% CI 0.70 to 1.7) with no heterogeneity (I(2) = 0%).People had more chance of withdrawing due to an adverse event (5 trials; 664 participants; RR 3.9; 95% CI 1.3 to 12; I(2) = 17%; low quality evidence), due to lack of efficacy (1 trial; 42 participants; RR 3.5; 95% CI 1.4 to 8.9; very low quality evidence) and for any reason (1 trial; 42 participants; RR 3.5; 95% CI 1.4 to 8.9; low quality evidence) when they received cannabinoids compared with prochlorperazine.People had more chance of reporting dizziness (7 trials; 675 participants; RR 2.4; 95% CI 1.8 to 3.1; I(2) = 12%), dysphoria (3 trials; 192 participants; RR 7.2; 95% CI 1.3 to 39; I(2) = 0%), euphoria (2 trials; 280 participants; RR 18; 95% CI 2.4 to 133; I(2) = 0%), 'feeling high' (4 trials; 389 participants; RR 6.2; 95% CI 3.5 to 11; I(2) = 0%) and sedation (8 trials; 947 participants; RR 1.4; 95% CI 1.2 to 1.8; I(2) = 31%), with significantly more participants reporting the incidence of these adverse events with cannabinoids compared with prochlorperazine.People reported a preference for cannabinoids rather than prochlorperazine (7 trials; 695 participants; RR 3.3; 95% CI 2.2 to 4.8; I(2) = 51%; low quality evidence).In comparisons with metoclopramide, domperidone and chlorpromazine, there was weaker evidence, based on fewer trials and participants, for higher incidence of dizziness with cannabinoids.Two trials with 141 participants compared an anti-emetic drug alone with a cannabinoid added to the anti-emetic drug. There was no evidence of differences between groups; however, the majority of the analyses were based on one small trial with few events. Quality of the evidence The trials were generally at low to moderate risk of bias in terms of how they were designed and do not reflect current chemotherapy and anti-emetic treatment regimens. Furthermore, the quality of evidence arising from meta-analyses was graded as low for the majority of the outcomes analysed, indicating that we are not very confident in our ability to say how well the medications worked. Further research is likely to have an important impact on the results. Cannabis-based medications may be useful for treating refractory chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. However, methodological limitations of the trials limit our conclusions and further research reflecting current chemotherapy regimens and newer anti-emetic drugs is likely to modify these conclusions.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 271 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 1 <1%
Brazil 1 <1%
Puerto Rico 1 <1%
Colombia 1 <1%
Unknown 267 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Unspecified 52 19%
Researcher 49 18%
Student > Bachelor 43 16%
Student > Master 37 14%
Student > Ph. D. Student 24 9%
Other 66 24%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 108 40%
Unspecified 66 24%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 24 9%
Nursing and Health Professions 23 8%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 14 5%
Other 36 13%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 192. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 25 October 2019.
All research outputs
#73,277
of 13,880,531 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#148
of 10,741 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#2,129
of 282,408 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
#3
of 241 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,880,531 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 10,741 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 21.4. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 282,408 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 241 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.