This medication is used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by cancer drug treatment (chemotherapy). Dolasetron works by blocking one of the body's natural substances (serotonin) that causes vomiting.
The tablet form of dolasetron should not be used to prevent nausea or vomiting after surgery due to an increased risk of serious side effects (such as QT prolongation). However, the injection form of this medication may be used after surgery. Ask your doctor for details.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This medication may also be used for the treatment of nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking dolasetron and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually within 1 hour before the start of chemotherapy.
In children, the dosage is based on age and weight. Take this medication exactly as prescribed to get the most benefit from it. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed.
Tell your doctor if you vomit or feel nauseated.
To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
This medication may increase serotonin and rarely cause a very serious condition called serotonin syndrome/toxicity. The risk increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin, so tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take (see Drug Interactions section). Get medical help right away if you develop some of the following symptoms: fast heartbeat, hallucinations, loss of coordination, severe dizziness, severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, twitching muscles, unexplained fever, unusual agitation/restlessness.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking dolasetron, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other anti-nausea serotonin blockers (such as granisetron, ondansetron); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Dolasetron may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.
The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using dolasetron, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions: certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG), family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death).
Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using dolasetron safely.
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Children with heart problems may be more sensitive to side effects of this drug, especially irregular heartbeat.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially irregular heartbeat and QT prolongation (see above).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: apomorphine, drugs that can slow the heart rate (such as beta blockers including atenolol, calcium channel blockers including verapamil).
Many drugs besides dolasetron may affect the heart rhythm (QT prolongation), including amiodarone, dofetilide, flecainide, pimozide, procainamide, quinidine, ziprasidone, among others.
The risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin. Examples include street drugs such as MDMA/"ecstasy," St. John's wort, certain antidepressants (including SSRIs such as fluoxetine/paroxetine, SNRIs such as duloxetine/venlafaxine), among others. The risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity may be more likely when you start or increase the dose of these drugs.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Lab and/or medical tests (such as EKG, blood mineral levels) may be done while you are taking this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist right away to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised July 2016. Copyright(c) 2016 First Databank, Inc.
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