Sancuso

Sancuso is used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy treatment lasting up to 5 days. Apply at least 1 day (24 hours) before your scheduled chemotherapy treatment.

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Pharmacist Trey Robinson, PharmD summarizes the uses, common side effects, and warnings for the 5HT3 blockers class of medications
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Pharmacist Trey Robinson, PharmD summarizes the uses, common side effects, and warnings for the Antiemetics class of medications

Sancuso Overview

Updated: 

Sancuso is a prescription medication used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy treatment lasting up to 5 days. Sancuso belongs to a group of drugs called serotonin 5-HT3 antagonists, which block serotonin, a natural chemical in the body, from causing nausea and vomiting.

This medication comes as a patch. Apply Sancuso at least 1 day (24 hours) before your scheduled chemotherapy treatment. You may apply Sancuso up to 2 days (48 hours) before your scheduled chemotherapy. 

Common side effects include headache and constipation.

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Uses of Sancuso

Sancuso is a prescription medication used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy treatment for up to 5 days

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

Manufacturer

Sancuso Drug Class

Sancuso is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Sancuso

Sancuso can cause serious side effects. See "Drug Precautions" section.

Common side effects include:

  • constipation
  • headache

This is not a complete list of Sancuso side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Sancuso Interactions

No clinically relevant drug interactions have been reported in clinical studies with Sancuso. However, Sancuso theoretically can interact with some medications. 

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • medications that block a protein in the body (CYPA4) such as some macrolide antibiotics (clarithromycin, telithromycin), some HIV protease inhibitors (indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir), some HCV protease inhibitors (boceprevir, telaprevir), some azole antifungals (ketoconazole, itraconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole), conivaptan (Vaprisol), delavirdine (Rescriptor), and nefazodone
  • medications that increase the activity of the enzyme CYP3A4 such as carbamazepine (Tegretol, Equetro, Carbatrol), phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin), rifampin, St John's wort, and nimodipine (Nimotop)
  • medications that could lead to serotonin syndrome such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), nefazodone (Serzone), paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva), sertraline (Zoloft), venlafaxine (Effexor), trimipramine (Surmontil), isocarboxazid (Marplan), amitriptyline (Elavil), nortriptyline (Pamelor, Aventyl), protriptyline (Vivactil), and clomipramine (Anafranil), and linezolid (Zyvox)

This is not a complete list of Sancuso drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Sancuso Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with Sancuso including:

  • A painful blockage of the intestine or bloating of the stomach. Using Sancuso may make it harder to identify certain stomach and bowel problems that are from other causes. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any stomach area (abdominal) pain or swelling while using Sancuso.
  • Skin reactions such as an allergic rash. Skin reactions can happen just at the patch application site or outside the patch application site. Tell your healthcare provider if you get any redness, rashes, bumps, blisters or itching at the patch application site, and especially if they spread outside the place where the patch was or if they appear outside the patch application site. You may need to stop using Sancuso.
  • Serotonin syndrome. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have some or all of the symptoms of serotonin syndrome.
    • agitation
    • hallucinations
    • delirium
    • coma
    • increased heart rate
    • dizziness
    • sweating
    • flushing
    • muscle tremor and rigidity
    • seizures

Do not take Sancuso if you are allergic to Sancuso or any of its ingredients.

Avoid direct exposure to sunlight on the patch application site while wearing the patch and up to 10 days after removing the patch in order to avoid skin reactions.

Sancuso Food Interactions

Medications 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 Sancuso, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before taking Sancuso, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to medical adhesive tape, adhesive dressings or other skin patches
  • have pain or swelling in your stomach area (abdomen)
  • are pregnant. It is not known if Sancuso will harm your unborn baby. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Sancuso passes into your breast milk.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Sancuso 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.

Sancuso falls into category B. It is not known if Sancuso will harm your unborn baby. No adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. 

Sancuso and Lactation

It is not known if Sancuso crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using Sancuso.

Sancuso Usage

Use Sancuso exactly as prescribed.

  • Apply Sancuso at least 1 day (24 hours) before your scheduled chemotherapy treatment. You may apply Sancuso up to 2 days (48 hours) before your scheduled chemotherapy.
  • Wear the patch all the time during your chemotherapy. Sancuso may be worn for up to 7 days, depending on how long your chemotherapy treatment lasts (up to 5 days).
  • Remove the patch at least 1 day (24 hours) after your chemotherapy is finished.
  • Keep the patch covered, such as under clothing, while you are wearing it to avoid a skin reaction to sunlight or sunlamps. Keep the skin where Sancuso was applied (application site) covered up for another 10 days after the patch is taken off to prevent a skin reaction. 
  • You can continue to shower and wash normally while wearing the Sancuso patch. It is not known how other activities, for example swimming, strenuous exercise or using a sauna or whirlpool, may affect Sancuso. Avoid these activities while wearing Sancuso.
  • Apply Sancuso to a clean, dry, healthy area of skin on the outside part of your upper arm.
    • The area you choose should not be oily, recently shaved or have any skin problems such as being damaged (cut or scraped) or irritated (redness or a rash).
    • Do not apply Sancuso to areas that have been treated with creams, oils, lotions, powders or other skin products that could keep the patch from sticking well to your skin.

How to apply Sancuso:

  1. Do not remove the patch from the pouch until you are ready to use it.
  2. Do not cut the Sancuso patch into pieces.
  3. Remove the pouch from the carton.
  4. Tear the pouch open using the slit provided, and remove the patch. Each pouch contains one Sancuso patch stuck onto a rigid plastic film, and a separate thin, clear protective liner.
  5. Remove the thin, clear protective liner to expose the printed side of the patch. Throw away the liner. The protective liner is only included in the pouch to separate the patch from the inside of the pouch, and is not part of the patch.
  6. The unprinted, sticky side of the patch is covered by a two-piece rigid plastic film. Bend the patch in the middle and remove one half of the rigid plastic film. Be careful not to stick the patch to itself and avoid touching the sticky side of the patch.
  7. While holding the remaining half of the rigid plastic film, apply the patch to your skin. Remove the second half of the rigid plastic film and press the whole patch firmly in place with your fingers and smooth down. Press firmly making sure it sticks well to the skin, especially around the edges.
  8. Wash your hands right away after applying the patch to remove any medicine that may have stuck to your fingers.
  9. Keep the patch in place for the whole time you are having chemotherapy. Remove the patch at least 1 day (24 hours) after your chemotherapy is finished. The patch can be worn for up to 7 days, depending on the number of days your chemotherapy treatment lasts.
  10. Do not re-use the patch after you remove it. See below for instructions on the right way to remove and throw away the patch.

How to remove Sancuso:

  1. When you remove the patch, peel it off gently.
  2. The used patch will still contain some of the medicine. After removing the used Sancuso patch, fold it in half so that the sticky side sticks to itself. Throw away the Sancuso patch in the garbage, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not re-use the patch.
  3. After removing the patch you may find some adhesive is left on your skin. Gently wash the area with soap and water to remove it. Do not use alcohol or other dissolving liquids, such as nail polish remover. These may cause skin irritation.
  4. Wash your hands after handling the patch.
  5. You may see mild redness on the skin where the patch is removed. This redness should go away within three days. If redness continues, tell your healthcare provider.

Sancuso Dosage

Use Sancuso exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The amount of time your doctor recommends to wear Sancuso may be based on the duration of your chemotherapy treatment. 

Each Sancuso patch contains 34.3 mg of its active ingredient granisetron. The recommended use of Sancuso is to apply a single patch to the upper outer arm a minimum of 24 hours before chemotherapy. The patch may be applied up to a maximum of 48 hours before chemotherapy as needed. Remove the patch a minimum of 24 hours after finishing chemotherapy. The patch can be worn for up to 7 days depending on the length of the chemotherapy treatment.

Sancuso Overdose

If you apply too much Sancuso, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

Other Requirements

  • Keep Sancuso in the package it comes in.
  • Store Sancuso at 68-77°F (20-25°C)
  • Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children.