Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Apr 25, 2022.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antiemetic
Pharmacologic Class: Dolasetron
Uses for dolasetron
Dolasetron injection is used to prevent and treat nausea and vomiting that may happen after surgery.
Dolasetron is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using dolasetron
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For dolasetron, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to dolasetron or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of dolasetron injection to prevent and treat nausea and vomiting that occurred after surgery in children 2 years of age and older. However, safety and efficacy have not been established in children younger than 2 years of age.
Use of dolasetron injection to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by cancer medicines in children is not recommended.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of dolasetron injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have heart rhythm problems (eg, prolonged QT, PR, and QRS interval), which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving dolasetron injection.
Use of dolasetron injection to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by cancer medicines in geriatric patients is not recommended.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving dolasetron, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using dolasetron with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using dolasetron with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Aripiprazole Lauroxil
- Arsenic Trioxide
- Chloral Hydrate
- Inotuzumab Ozogamicin
- Methylene Blue
- Morphine Sulfate Liposome
- Sodium Phosphate
- Sodium Phosphate, Dibasic
- Sodium Phosphate, Monobasic
- St John's Wort
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of dolasetron. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Bradycardia (slow heartbeat) or
- Congestive heart failure or
- Kidney disease—Patients with these conditions should be monitored with an electrocardiogram (ECG) while using dolasetron.
- Heart block, without a pacemaker or
- Heart rhythm problems (eg, congenital long QT syndrome)—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
- Heart disease or
- Heart rhythm problems (eg, atrial fibrillation, prolonged QT, PR, and QRS interval) or
- Sick sinus syndrome (type of abnormal heart rhythm)—Use with caution. May increase risk for more serious heart rhythm problems (such as torsade de pointes) and additional monitoring is required.
- Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood) or
- Hypomagnesemia (low magnesium in the blood)—Must be corrected first before using dolasetron.
Proper use of dolasetron
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you dolasetron in a hospital. Dolasetron is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
Dolasetron is usually given 15 minutes before anesthesia (medicine to put you to sleep before surgery) or right after surgery if nausea and vomiting begin.
Dolasteron injection may be mixed into apple or apple-grape juice and be given orally for children 2 years of age and older. The mixed medicine may be stored up to 2 hours at room temperature before use.
Precautions while using dolasetron
Check with your doctor if severe nausea and vomiting continue after leaving the hospital.
Dolasetron can cause changes in heart rhythms, such as conditions called QT, PR, and QRS prolongation. It may change the way your heart beats and cause fainting or serious side effects in some patients. Contact your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of heart rhythm problems, such as fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeats.
Dolasetron may cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome if taken together with some medicines, such as fentanyl (Abstral®, Duragesic®), lithium (Eskalith®, Lithobid®), a MAO inhibitor (such as methylene blue injection, Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, Parnate®), medicines to treat migraine headaches, or medicine to treat depression (eg, fluoxetine, mirtazapine, paroxetine, Celexa®, Effexor®, Lexapro®, Paxil®, Zoloft®). Check with your doctor first before taking any other medicines with dolasetron.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Dolasetron side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Less common or rare
- blurred vision
- burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
- chest pain or discomfort
- cold sweats
- difficulty with swallowing
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
- feeling of warmth
- feeling uncoordinated
- hives, itching, or skin rash
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
- rigid muscles
- tightness in the chest
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Incidence not known
- Fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
- no blood pressure or pulse
- stopping of heart
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Less common or rare
- Acid or sour stomach
- bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
- burning sensation or pain at the injection site
- change in taste
- changes in vision
- difficulty with breathing
- difficulty with moving
- feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
- joint pain
- muscle aching or cramping
- muscle pains or stiffness
- noisy breathing
- sensation of spinning
- stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
- strange dreams
- swollen joints
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More about dolasetron
- Side effects
- Drug interactions
- Dosage information
- During pregnancy
- En español
- Drug class: 5HT3 receptor antagonists
- Other brands
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