Granisetron 

(gra ni' se tron)

WHY is this medicine prescribed?

Granisetron is used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Granisetron is in a class of medications called 5-HT3 antagonists. It works by blocking serotonin, a natural substance in the body that causes nausea and vomiting.

HOW should this medicine be used?

Granisetron comes as a tablet and a solution (liquid) to take by mouth. When taken to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, granisetron is usually taken 1 hour before chemotherapy is begun. A second dose may be taken 12 hours after the first dose. When taken to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by radiation, granisetron is usually taken within 1 hour before treatment. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take granisetron exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Are there OTHER USES for this medicine?

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS should I follow?

Before taking granisetron,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to granisetron, dolasetron (Anzemet), ondansetron, (Zofran), or any other medications.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention ketoconazole (Nizoral). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking granisetron, call your doctor.

What SPECIAL DIETARY instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do IF I FORGET to take a dose?

Granisetron should only be taken before chemotherapy or radiation therapy, as instructed by your doctor. It should not be taken on a regularly scheduled basis.

What SIDE EFFECTS can this medicine cause?

Granisetron may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • headache
  • weakness
  • stomach pain
  • heartburn
  • constipation
  • diarrhea

• pain

  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • nervousness

• cough

• fever

Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately:

• hives

  • skin rash

• itching

  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • fainting
  • blurred vision

Granisetron may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch ] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

What should I know about STORAGE and DISPOSAL of this medication?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

What should I do in case of OVERDOSE?

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • headache

What OTHER INFORMATION should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Brand Names
  • Kytril®[¶]
  • Also available generically

This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.

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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

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