Dolasetron prevents nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy. Before starting this medication, tell your doctor if you have had heart rhythm problems, especially long QT syndrome.
Dolasetron is a prescription medication used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. Dolasetron is also used to prevent or treat nausea and vomiting after surgery.
Dolasetron belongs to a group of drugs called serotonin 5-HT3 antagonists, which block serotonin from causing nausea and vomiting.
This medication comes in tablet and injectable forms. The tablet is taken by mouth within one hour before chemotherapy. The injectable form is given by IV (into the vein) during surgery.
Common side effects of dolasetron include headache, diarrhea, tiredness, and dizziness.
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Uses of Dolasetron
Dolasetron is a prescription medicine used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. Dolasetron is also used to prevent or treat nausea and vomiting after surgery.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Dolasetron Brand Names
Dolasetron may be found in some form under the following brand names:
Dolasetron Drug Class
Dolasetron is part of the drug class:
Side Effects of Dolasetron
Dolasetron may cause serious side effects. See "Drug Precautions" section.
Common side effects of this medication include:
- less frequent urination
Tell your doctor if any side effect is bothersome or doesn't go away. Especially tell your doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms, which may be symptoms of serious side effects:
- irregular heartbeat (fast or slow)
- chest pain
- hives, rash
- difficulty swallowing
- difficulty breathing
This is not a complete list of dolasetron side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Because dolasetron can increase the risk of QT prolongation (a dangerous irregular heart rhythm) tell your doctor if you take any of the following medications:
- medications for arrhythmia such as flecainide (Tambocor), quinidine (Quinidex, Quinaglute),
- verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan, in Tarka)
- diuretics ("water pills")
Some medications increase the risk of dolasetron side effects by increasing the level of dolasetron in the blood. Such medications include:
- atenolol (Tenormin)
- cimetidine (Tagamet)
Rifampin (Rifadin) may decrease blood levels of dolasetron.
Also, be sure to tell your doctor if you have ever received chemotherapy medications.
This is not a complete list of dolasetron drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Do not take dolasetron if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.
Dolasetron may cause serious cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythm) such as QT prolongation, a dangerous irregular heart rhythm. Tell your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- change in heart rate
- fainting episodes
Your chances of developing QT prolongation and other serious heart arrhythmias are higher if you:
- have had abnormal heart rhythms or someone in your family has had abnormal heart rhythms
- have had other heart problems including heart attack
- take certain medications that increase risk of abnormal heart rhythm. (See "Drug Interactions" section.)
- take diuretics ("water pills"). See "Drug Interactions" section.
- have low blood levels of magnesium or potassium (can be caused by certain chemotherapy medications)
- are elderly or have kidney disease
Dolasetron injection is not to be given to adults or pediatric patients for the prevention of nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy.
Dolasetron Food Interactions
Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of dolasetron there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving dolasetron.
Before receiving dolasetron, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions including:
- allergies to medications
- heart rhythm problems, especially long QT syndrome
- if you have or have ever had heart or kidney disease, a heart attack, or congestive heart failure
- if you have or have ever had low blood levels of magnesium or potassium
- if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
Tell your doctor about all of the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Dolasetron and Pregnancy
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.
This medication falls into category B. There are no well-done studies that have been done in humans with dolasetron. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication, and the babies did not show any medical issues related to this medication.
Dolasetron and Lactation
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if dolasetron is excreted in human breast milk or if it will harm your nursing baby.
Dolasetron comes in two forms:
The tablet form is taken by mouth, usually within within one hour before chemotherapy, for the prevention of nausea and vomiting.
The injectable form is given by injection into a vein (intravenously) during surgery to prevent nausea and vomiting (or to treat nausea and vomiting).
For children who are unable to swallow tablets or who need a smaller dose than the tablet form allows, dolasetron injection can be taken by mouth when mixed with apple or apple-grape juice.
The recommended oral (by mouth) dolasetron dosage for the prevention of nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy is 100 mg. Dolasetron dosing for children 2 to 16 years of age is based on the child's weight.
The dose should be taken within one hour before chemotherapy.
The recommended intravenous dosage of dolasetron injection is 12.5 mg given during surgery. Dolasetron injection dosing for children 2 to 16 years of age is based on the child's weight.
Dolasetron injection solution may be mixed into apple or apple-grape juice for children to take by mouth within 2 hours before surgery. When dolasetron injection is taken by mouth, the recommended dosage in children 2 to 16 years of age is 1.2 mg/kg.
If you take too much of this medication, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.
If this medication is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention
- Store dolasetron tablets at room temperature in the container it came in, tightly closed.
- Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children.