Healthcare providers can prescribe dolasetron to prevent nausea and vomiting in people who are undergoing surgery or chemotherapy. The drug works by blocking serotonin, a chemical in the body that is associated with nausea and vomiting. It comes in tablet and injectable form. Possible side effects include dizziness, headache, and fatigue.
Dolasetron mesylate (Anzemet®) is a prescription nausea and vomiting medication. It is approved for the following uses:
- Preventing nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy (the tablet form only).
- Preventing or treating nausea and vomiting after surgery (the intravenous form only)
Dolasetron is made by sanofi-aventis.
Nausea (upset stomach) and vomiting are complex processes involving many chemicals in the body and several parts of the body, including the brain and small intestine. It is likely that dolasetron works in the small intestine, but it may also work in the brain.
The medication works by blocking serotonin, a chemical produced by the body that is associated with nausea and vomiting. Serotonin has many effects in the body and can bind to several receptors. Dolasetron blocks serotonin at a specific type of receptor (the 5-HT3 receptor), which is important for nausea and vomiting. It has no effects on other types of serotonin receptors in the body.
In studies of dolasetron to prevent nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, up to 73 percent of people taking the medicine experienced no vomiting. It also decreased the severity of nausea.
Dolasetron was also studied for preventing nausea and vomiting after surgery. Up to 51 percent of people who took it before surgery did not experience any vomiting, compared to just 35 percent of those not taking the medicine. It also decreased the severity of nausea.