Dolasetron (intravenous)

Overview

Dolasetron is a drug that is sometimes given to patients to either treat or to prevent the vomiting and nausea that can happen after surgery. It will only be given following a prescription from your doctor, and you should not try to obtain it on your own. It is administered by a trained surgeon or nurse. If you are having it to prevent the unwanted effects, then it will be given 15 minutes before your anesthetic. It is not necessarily given to everyone, as it is known to interact with a variety of other things, so your doctor will first assess whether it is suitable for you.

Condition(is) treated

  • Postoperative nausea and vomiting

Type of medicine

  • Antinauseant and antiemetic agent

Side Effects

Though Dolasetron is used to treat the unwanted effects of surgery, the drug itself can cause a variety of other side effects. If, after being given Dolasetron, you experience any of the side effects listed directly below, then you should contact the nurse or doctor immediately.

Less common or rare

  • Chest discomfort or pain

Incidence not known

  • Unconsciousness

After taking Dolasetron, there is also the chance you could suffer from other side effects that aren't quite as serious. These side effects will often pass as your body adjusts to the medicine. If you are experiencing any and they are bothering you, then contact the nurse or a doctor. They may be able to advise you on ways to relieve the symptoms.

More common

Less common or rare

  • Spinning sensation

There may be other side effects that you experience which are not listed here. Again, if such effects do occur and if they are worrying you, then you should inform a nurse or doctor straight away.

Dosage

You will not need to worry about the dosage you receive, as it will be administered by your doctor or by a trained nurse in hospital. It is administered intravenously.

If you are receiving this before surgery, then it will be given 15 minutes before the anesthetic. If you experience nausea or vomiting after the surgery, then it is given as soon as symptoms arise.

If your child is aged 2 years or under, then the solution is not necessarily given intravenously. Instead, it can be mixed with either apple or grape juice and given to drink. This mixture can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 hours before being taken.

Interactions

Dolasetron, just like all drugs, has the potential to interact with other medicines you are taking. As such, your doctor will need to review your full medicinal intake, so as to assess whether or not an interaction is likely to occur. In some cases, it may be the case that an interaction could occur, but the benefits of taking Dolasetron still outweigh the risks. It may also be that your doctor could alter the dosage or one of the drugs in some way. However, directly below is a list of drugs which shouldn't be taken alongside Dolasetron. Make it clear to your doctor if you take any of the following.

  • Dronedarone

Directly below is a list of drugs which it is usually not recommended you take alongside Dolasetron. However, in some cases it may be necessary, and your doctor will possibly need to alter one or more of the dosages you receive.

  • Metronidazole

Similarly, you shouldn't consume certain foods or drinks before being administered Dolasetron. It may also be the case that your smoking habits could interact with the drug. You should, therefore, discuss your typical dietary intake with your doctor who can advise you of any adjustments you should make before receiving this drug.

Finally, Dolasetron could potentially interact with other medical problems you have. If you suffer from any of the following, then make sure your doctor is fully aware.

  • Problems with your heart rhythm (such as congenital long QT syndrome). You should not take Dolasetron if you suffer from this

Warnings

Before administering Dolasetron, your doctor will need to know the full extent of your medical condition. One part of this includes looking at any allergies you have. Such allergies include those to Dolasetron, to other drugs, preservatives, dyes, and animals. You should be as honest as possible about this, or else Dolasetron could trigger some sort of harmful allergic reaction.

The studies carried out into the use of Dolasetron on children above the age of 2 have not indicated any problems that would limit the usefulness or safety of the drug. However, no such studies have been conducted in children younger than 2. Your doctor will need to decide whether the benefits of using the drug outweigh any potential risks.

However, it is not recommended that you use Dolasetron to treat vomiting and nausea in children that has been caused by taking cancer medicines.

The studies taken place on geriatric patients have not demonstrated any major problems that would limit the usefulness of Dolasetron. However, you should note that older patients do tend to be more likely to suffer from problems with their heart rhythm. This may mean that the administering doctor will decide to limit the dosage.

If you are an elderly patient that has been made nauseous due to cancer medicine, then it is not recommended you take Dolasetron to cure this.

Studies carried out on animals have not demonstrated any adverse effects to pregnant women, or the fetus, when taking Dolasetron. However, it's not clear if adequate tests have been performed on women themselves. Your doctor is best placed to assess the full risks and benefits of taking Dolasetron if you are pregnant.

There are no adequate studies that have been performed on the effects of Dolasetron on breastfeeding women. Again, if you are breastfeeding, then your doctor is best placed to know if this is a suitable drug for you to take.

If, after leaving the hospital, you continue to suffer from vomiting and nausea, then you should inform your doctor.

Taking Dolasetron can cause changes to take place with your heart rhythm. This includes conditions such as PR, QT, and QRS prolongation. If you are such a patient, then taking Dolasetron could cause fainting or changes to the way your heart beats. If, after taking Dolasetron, you find yourself experiencing an irregular, pounding, or fast heartbeat, then you should contact your doctor immediately.

If taken with the medicines listed below, Dolasetron can cause serotonin syndrome. If you do take any of the medicines listed below, then inform your doctor.

  • An MAO inhibitor (e.g. methylene blue injection, Eldepryl®, Marplan®, vs Nardil®, Parnate®)

Before taking any other drugs alongside Dolasetron, check with your doctor first if they are suitable. This includes any herbal remedies, vitamin supplements, prescription drugs, and nonprescription drugs.

Storage

You will not be required to store Dolasetron at any point. Instead, the administering doctor will give it to you when necessary. However, if you are giving this to a child and have mixed it with apple or grape juice, then it must be drunk within 2 hours of being kept at room temperature.

Summary

If you suffer from nausea and vomiting after surgery, Dolasetron will commonly be prescribed to you as a means to remedy the problem. If you believe you will get sick after, it is also administered beforehand as a preventative measure. However, you should be aware that it is given to patients who have first undergone a full assessment by their doctor. Taking Dolasetron has the potential to cause a number of unpleasant side effects and is known to react with a wide range of different drugs.

You should make yourself aware of all drugs you currently take and be clear and transparent in informing your doctor of these. Similarly, they will also need to know about other parts of your typical dietary intake, including foods, drink, and tobacco. It may be the case they will limit your intake of other drugs or alter parts of your diet, so as to limit unwanted interactions. If such guidance has been given to you, then follow it closely.

It is possible that you could experience some unwanted effects from this drug after being discharged. If this is the case, then contact your doctor immediately.