Dolasetron is used to prevent and treat nausea and vomiting after surgery. It belongs to a class of medications called 5-HT3 blockers. It works by blocking one of the body's natural substances (serotonin) that can cause vomiting.
This product has been withdrawn from the Canadian market due to safety problems.
This drug is given by injection into a vein as directed by your doctor. It is usually given before, during, or after surgery.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. The dosage may also be based on weight. Use this medication exactly as directed to get the most benefit from it. Do not use more medication or use it more often than prescribed. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions.
If you are giving this medication to yourself at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.
If you or your child cannot swallow the tablet form of this medication, this liquid product for injection may be mixed in apple or apple-grape juice and taken by mouth. The juice mixture may be kept up to 2 hours at room temperature before use. However, it is safer to mix the medication right before use to prevent accidentally giving the juice mixture into a vein.
When this medication is taken by mouth, it is usually taken within 1 hour before your cancer chemotherapy or within 2 hours before surgery, or as directed by your doctor. This medication may be taken with or without food. However, your doctor may tell you not to eat before chemotherapy or surgery. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
Tell your doctor if your nausea does not improve or if it worsens.
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.
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 -
Before using dolasetron, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other 5-HT3 blockers (e.g., 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.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: heart problems (e.g., irregular heartbeat), stomach/intestinal problems (e.g., recent surgery, ileus, swelling), kidney disease.
Dolasetron may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can infrequently result in 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. Avoid alcoholic beverages.
To reduce dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Caution is advised when using this drug in children with heart problems because they may be more sensitive to the heart effects (e.g., irregular heartbeat) of the drug.
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), cimetidine, rifamycins (such as rifampin), previous treatment with certain chemotherapy drugs (anthracyclines such as daunorubicin/doxorubicin).
Many drugs besides dolasetron may affect the heart rhythm (QT prolongation), including dofetilide, pimozide, procainamide, amiodarone, quinidine, ziprasidone, sotalol, macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin), among others. Therefore, before using dolasetron, report all medications you are currently using to your doctor or pharmacist.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as EKG, blood mineral levels) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose or did not use your dose at the correct time before your scheduled chemotherapy appointment or surgery, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately to establish a new dosing schedule. Your treatment or surgery may need to be rescheduled.
Consult the product instructions and your pharmacist for storage details. 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 March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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