April 22, 2010

abh

A = Ativan
B = Benadryl
H = Haldol
Once again, MD Anderson reveals its mettle as to why it's consistently rated the number #1 cancer center in the world. Why, you may ask? ABH. And what does ABH have to do with cancer? They offer this combo of three established and very unrelated drugs as a measure to control chemotherapy induced nausea. Ativan is an anti-anxiety medicine. Think valium. It's in the same class of drugs. Benadryl? Think the over the counter antihistamine drug that makes one sleepy. And Haldol? It's an anti-psychotic used in schizophrenia.
Put them together and what do you get? A helluva anti-nausea cocktail. Let me put it this way. After the last round of chemo, my brother didn't eat for 4-5 days, lost ~15 pounds, was horizontal the entire time and states that if he had been asked if he wanted to do chemo again, he would have flat out said NO. And that's knowing full well that refusing chemo meant death. That's how bad he felt. And after his second round? He answered the phone this morning after having 2 eggs for breakfast. Holy freakin' crap! These are the types of stories that make me want to be a physician now more than ever. And I want to shake the hand of the person who came up with the idea of using this cocktail because it works beautifully. Why it's not used more widely is beyond me.

7 comments:

Steve Parker, M.D. said...

I gotta say I haven't seen that used in the hospitals where I work.

-Steve

Isaac said...

The only literature I could find about it was a paper and a poster using a gel that had the ABH +/- reglan. I think the original use was for palliative care in a hospice setting. Regardless, it's definitely worth looking into for patients with severe nausea. I'll try to find out more info at our next visit to MDACC and pass it along.

Joseph Gonzales said...

ABH is an rx that you can only get @ mdacc. you can't get it anywwhere else.

Kelly Gross said...

I have seen this drug used. My sister used it for nausea while she was in stage 4 cancer. It was made at MD Anderson Cancer Center. They are the ones that come up with this compound.

Kelly Gross said...

My sister was actually prescribed this medication for nausea while she was in stage 4 of breast cancer. MD Anderson Cancer Center are the ones that come up with this compound and at one time was the only one that was making it. I don't know if anyone else is or not. That might be one of the reason's you haven't seen it at any of the other hospitals

Anonymous said...

My Mother just passed away with gastric cancer. Hospice gave me the ABH Gel to rub up and down her arm. It worked wonders. She longer was vomiting up her on gastric juices.

Isaac van Sligtenhorst said...

I'm sorry about the loss of your mother, though I'm glad some solace from the physical complaints were found. I wish you well during your grieving process.