Why is this medication prescribed?
Granisetron injection is used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy. Granisetron is in a class of medications called 5-HT3 antagonists. It works by blocking serotonin, a natural substance in the body that causes nausea and vomiting.
How should this medicine be used?
Granisetron injection comes as a solution (liquid) to be injected intravenously (into a vein) by a healthcare provider in a hospital or clinic. It is usually given within 30 minutes before the start of chemotherapy.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using granisetron injection,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to granisetron, alosetron (Lotronex), dolasetron (Anzemet), ondansetron (Zofran, Zuplenz), palonosetron (Aloxi, in Akynzeo), any other medications, or any of the ingredients in granisetron injection. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone); azithromycin (Zithromax),; chlorpromazine, citalopram (Celexa); clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac); erythromycin (E.E.S., Erythrocin, others); fentanyl (Abstral, Actiq, Duragesic, Fentora, Lazanda, Onsolis, Subsys); lithium (Lithobid); medications for heart problems; medications to treat migraines such as almotriptan (Axert), eletriptan (Relpax), frovatriptan (Frova), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxalt), sumatriptan (Imitrex), and zolmitriptan (Zomig); methylene blue; mirtazapine (Remeron); monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors including isocarboxazid (Marplan), linezolid (Zyvox), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), and tranylcypromine (Parnate); moxifloxacin (Avelox); pimozide (Orap); selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, in Symbyax), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Brisdelle, Paxil, Pexeva), and sertraline (Zoloft); sotalol (Betapace, Sorine); thioridazine; and tramadol (Conzip, Ultram, in Ultracet). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you more carefully for side effects. Many other medications may also interact with granisetron, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
- tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has or has ever had long QT syndrome (condition that increases the risk of developing an irregular heartbeat that may cause fainting or sudden death), another type of irregular heart beat or heart rhythm problem, electrolyte imbalance, or heart disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while using granisetron injection, call your doctor.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Granisetron injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical treatment:
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- shortness of breath
- dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting
- fast, slow or irregular heartbeat
- hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
- excessive sweating
- nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- loss of coordination
- stiff or twitching muscles
- coma (loss of consciousness)
Granisetron injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.