Palonosetron is commonly used for preventing nausea and vomiting in people who are receiving chemotherapy or having surgery. It is given by IV and works by blocking serotonin, a chemical in the body that is associated with nausea and vomiting. The medication is also available in capsule form (only for use before chemotherapy). Possible side effects include constipation, headache, and diarrhea.
What Is Palonosetron?
Palonosetron hydrochloride (Aloxi®) is a prescription medication approved to prevent nausea and vomiting that is due to chemotherapy or surgery. It is given by IV (intravenously) before chemotherapy, and a single dose helps to prevent nausea and vomiting for several days. When given by IV just before surgery, a single dose helps prevent nausea and vomiting for up to 24 hours after surgery.
A capsule form is also available and is used only to prevent nausea and vomiting before chemotherapy.
As with any medicine, side effects are possible with palonosetron. However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Commonly reported problems with palonosetron use include but are not limited to:
Aloxi Capsules [package insert]. Woodcliff Lake, NJ: Eisai, Inc.;2008 August.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: Approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed July 24, 2007.
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