FDA Approves Rx to Control Chemo Side Effects

Akynzeo approved to treat nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD Beth Bolt, RPh

(RxWiki News) Friday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new oral medication to treat side effects of chemotherapy.

The FDA approved Akynzeo to treat cancer patients with nausea and vomiting from chemo.

The medication is made up of two other medications: palonosetron and netiputant. The former prevents nausea and vomiting during the first day of chemo, while the latter treats these symptoms for up to 120 hours.

“Supportive care products, such as Akynzeo, help ease the nausea and vomiting patients may experience as a side effect of cancer chemotherapy,” said Julie Beitz, MD, director of the FDA's Office of Drug Evaluation III, in a press release.

Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that can involve many rounds of medication to fight cancer growth. Patients undergoing chemo often report nausea and vomiting as side effects.

But 89.6 percent of 1,720 chemo patients who took Akynzeo in a trial of the new treatment didn't vomit or have extreme nausea. In contrast, only 76.5 percent of patients treated with palonosetron alone achieved these results. A second trial of the treatment produced similar results.

Patients did experience some side effects, though. These side effects included headaches, weakness, fatigue and digestive problems like constipation.

Eisai Inc. markets and distributes Akynzeo.


Review Date: 
October 10, 2014
Last Updated:
October 13, 2014