Premedication with montelukast and rupatadine decreased rituximab infusion time, rate, severity of reactions and use of rescue medications.Int J Cancer. 2020 Mar 18 [Online ahead of print]IJ
Rituximab-associated infusion reactions (IRs) are significant burdens on oncology patients, caregivers and healthcare providers. We evaluated whether montelukast and rupatadine improve rituximab delivery, decrease frequency/severity of IRs and the number of medications used to control IRs. Using a nonrandomized clinical study design, we assessed adult rituximab naïve patients with B-cell lymphoid malignancies from January 2017 to July 2019. Prior to the first rituximab infusion patients received one of the premedication regimens: (i) standard premedications, diphenhydramine hydrochloride and acetaminophen ("SP" group); (ii) SP + montelukast ("M" group); (iii) SP + rupatadine ("R" group); (iv) SP + rupatadine + montelukast Schedule 1 ("M + R Schedule 1" group); (v) SP + rupatadine + montelukast Schedule 2 ("M + R Schedule 2" group). A total of 223 patients with a median age of 69 years were assessed. Demographics and treatment groups were comparable among all five groups. Mean rituximab infusion time was 290 min in the SP group versus 273, 261, 243 and 236 min in the M, R, M + R Schedule 1 and M + R Schedule 2 groups, respectively. The incidence of rituximab IRs was 75% in the SP group versus 44, 41, 22 and 22% in the M, R, M + R Schedule 1 and M + R Schedule 2 groups, respectively. The median reaction grade was 2 in the SP group and 0 in all other groups. The median number of rescue medications was 3 in the SP group and 0 in all other groups. In conclusion, montelukast and rupatadine significantly improved rituximab delivery, decreased the rate and severity of IRs and reduced the need for rescue medications.