Granisetron (Transdermal)

Granisetron is a medication used to treat nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment, and is available in oral, injection, and skin patch forms.

Overview

Granisetron is a type of medication, which comes in many form, used to treat nausea and vomiting for patients undergoing chemotherapy. Granisetron is an antiemetic.

Granisetron was first developed by a lab in the U.K. around the year 1988. At first, the drug was tested to treat a variety of nauseas and illnesses as a result of different treatments. It was found to be effective in treating side effects from chemotherapy and some operations, though post-operative sickness has been deemed to be less useful for Granisetron to treat. Use of Granisetron for treating nausea and vomiting that result from other conditions has been deemed useless or unsafe and is not advised. The earliest generic of the drug was approved for use by the FDA in 1994. Since then, it has been developed further by a variety of different companies and labs around the world. Granisetron has a variety of different routes, and can be administered orally (a tablet or liquid form), through an injection, or through a skin patch. In the U.S., the transdermal skin patch version is sold under the brand name Sancuso. Sancuso is developed and sold by ProStrakan Group plc, and was given FDA approval for sale in 2008. The patch form is an extended release, which allows patients to only use one or two patches per treatment. This had enabled it to become one of the more popular choice for nausea and vomiting treatment after chemotherapy.

Granisetron works as a serotonin 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, which means that it works by blocking the chemical reactions in the nervous system that trigger vomiting and nausea.

Granisetron takes a long time to be broken down by the liver, giving it a long half life. This means that the medication can last longer than many others, usually providing relief for four to nine hours after taking it. Most patients who take Granisetron will only need one or two doses per day, and only before or around then time they are undergoing chemotherapy.

Condition(s) treated

  • (Schozophrenia, Autism, Borderline Personality Disorder, etc. [single names - no sentences]):
  • Nausea and vomiting as a result of chemotherapy
  • Antiemetic

Side Effects

Granisetron can cause a number of different side effects. You should always tell your doctor if you are experiencing side effects before stopping or changing your dosage. Only a doctor can determine if another medication might be better for you or if your dosage should be adjusted.

The most common side effect of using Granisetron skin patch is difficulty having a bowel movement. If you experience this, alert your doctor immediately.

More rare side effects that should also be brought to the attention of a doctor include:

  • Pain in the arms, back, or head and jaw
  • Blurry vision
  • Pain or discomfort in the chest
  • Tightness or heaviness in the chest
  • Confusion or dizziness
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Lightheadedness or fainting when getting up from a sitting or lying position
  • Faster, slower, or irregular heartbeat
  • Headache
  • Hives or welt, skin rash, or other signs of skin irritation
  • Nausea
  • Pounding or ringing in the ears
  • Redness, puffiness around the face or eyes
  • Sweating
  • Fatigue, being unusually tired

There are other reported side effects, which may be serious and should be brought to the attention of a doctor, but their occurrence frequency is not known. Let your doctor know if you experience any of the following:

  • Black stool
  • Blood in urine
  • Bleeding mouth or gums
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Painful urination
  • Sore throat
  • Stomach pain
  • Ulcers or sores on the mouth, throat, or other areas
  • Swollen glands
  • Pale skin
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising

There are other side effects that may not need to be brought to the attention of your doctor. These side effects may be uncomfortable, but not serious. If you find that these side effects are too uncomfortable, talk to your doctor about other medication options that may have different or lesser side effects:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of hair
  • Loss of strength
  • Skin irritation or itching on the area where you applied the patch
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Unusual taste in mouth

This list of side effects is not exhaustive, and Granisetron skin patches can effect different people in different ways. If you experience any side effects not listed, you should alert your doctor immediately for further guidance.

Dosage

The number and frequency of patches you use should be determined by your doctor, and depends on your condition, how you react to chemotherapy, and how you react to the skin patches. Always follow your doctor's guidance and speak to him or her if you feel that you dosage is not correct before changing your dosage yourself. Ensure that the Granisetron skin patches you are using have not expired or been contaminated or opened before using them.

In some cases, your doctor may recommend applying the patch 24-48 hours before you begin chemotherapy treatment. In other cases, he or she may recommend using them right before or after chemotherapy treatment. After, he or she may recommend how long to keep the patch on and whether or not you should/can apply additional patches after treatment. The effects of the patch can usually be felt for up to seven days, which is where there is rarely any need for multiple patches or more frequent use of the patches during treatment. The number of patches needed can vary based on a number of factors though.

To use the skin patch you should follow the normal safe procedure for application:

  • First, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. You should also wash the area of skin you intend to put the patch on with warm water and soap. Ensure the area is completely dry before application.
  • Take the patch out of its encasing and immediately apply it to the selected area. Ensure you do not put the patch on any wet, broken, rash, or abnormal skin. Also be sure to apply the patch only to areas of the skins where tight or scratchy clothing will not move or disturb it. Apply the patch as quickly as possible once it has been removed from its casing. Do not cut the patch.
  • Press the patch firmly to your skin and rub it to ensure that all areas of the patch are sticking to your skin.
  • Normally, the patch should be left in place at least 24 hours after completing a round of chemotherapy. Follow your doctor's guidance on how long to leave the patch on. Depending on how you react and on what you need, the patch can usually be left on for up to seven days while still taking effect.
  • Wash your hands again after applying the patch, to avoid getting the medicine on your hands and into your eyes or nose.

Interactions

Granisetron interacts with a number of other medications. Always talk to your doctor about other medications you are taking, and your dietary and lifestyle habits before beginning Granisetron. This list may not be exhaustive or you may unknowingly be taking other forms of the listed drugs without being aware.

Do not take Granisetron skin patch if you are taking any of the following medications:

  • Abstral
  • Duragesic
  • Eskalith
  • Lithobid
  • Ultram
  • Methylene blue injection
  • Eldepryl
  • Marplan
  • Nardil
  • Parnate
  • Fluoxetine
  • Mirtazapine
  • Paroxetine,
  • Celexa
  • Effexor
  • Lexapro
  • Paxil
  • Zoloft

Warnings

Granisetron has not been found to be effective on motion sickness or nausea and vomiting that are caused by other conditions. Do not use Granisetron for anything other than what it is prescribed for, which should only be nausea and vomiting as a result of chemotherapy treatment.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had a bad reaction to skin patch medications or other medication given via the skin. He or she may recommend a different route of Granisetron or medication.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had a stomach or intestinal problem, disorder, or surgery.

The skin patch should not be exposed to direct sun, harsh light, or strong artificial light, like tanning beds. Avoid physical activity or other activities (like swimming, hot tubs, saunas, or physical activity that may lead to excessive sweating) that may cause the patch to come off or rub out of shape. If you do expose the patch to direct light, remove it from the light as soon as possible, and keep both the patch and your skin in the shade, preferably under clothing for as long as possible.

Do not use more than one patch at a time, unless specifically instructed by your doctor. Always check with your doctor about how often you should change and use patches, to avoid overdosing.

While you are using Granisetron skin patches, do not take any other form of Granisetron (like injection or the oral tablet or liquid). Taking multiple forms of Granisetron at once can be harmful. Check with your doctor about what other medications you are taking to ensure that none of them are another form of Granisetron or contain the same ingredients as Granisetron.

Granisetron skin patches have been found to not be harmful to unborn babies, but you should still tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. The effects of Granisetron skin patches on babies who are breastfeeding is unknown. Tell you doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to begin breastfeeding before taking Granisetron.

You cannot always know how Granisetron skin patches may effect you, and for this reason you should not drive or operate heavy machinery immediately after using Granisetron skin patches. This medication can cause side effects like headaches and drowsiness, which can impair your ability to drive. Be sure to wait until long after treatment to do so.

Storage

Patches should be stored at room temperature, out of direct heat or light. Do not store patches in a moist environment, like a bathroom, as this could damage them. Do not take the patches out of their original packaging until you are ready to use that patch. Removing them from packaging can cause contamination. If a patch does get dirty or contaminated, throw it out and use a clean, fresh patch.

Ensure patches are always out of the reach of children. If there is any sort of child safety lock on the packaging, always ensure it is securely locked back in place.

After using a patch, you should fold it in half and be sure the sticky sides stick together before throwing it away. Wash your hands after handling, applying, or removing Granisetron patches to avoid getting medication in your eyes, mouth, or nose.

If you have extra Granisetron patches that you need to dispose of, ask your local pharmacist about local medicine take back programs to safely dispose of your extra Granisetron skin patches. If there are no medicine take back programs near you, consult the FDA's guidance for safely disposing of medications. Do not simply throw leftover Granisetron skin patches away in the regular garbage bin. If you have empty boxes of Granisetron skin patches, ensure you scratch off any personal details from the prescription packaging before throwing them away.

Summary

(Write no more than 15% of article for Summary):

Granisetron is a type of medication used to treat nausea and vomiting for patients undergoing chemotherapy. Granisetron should not be used to treat nausea as a result of any other condition.

Granisetron is one of the most popular medications for treating nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy because it can last longer than many others, usually providing relief for four to nine hours after taking it. Most patients who take Granisetron will only need one or two doses per day around the time that they undergo chemotherapy.

Granisetron can cause a number of different side effects. You should always tell your doctor if you are experiencing side effects before stopping or changing your dosage. Only a doctor can determine if another medication might be better for you. There are some side effects of Granisetron that are not serious, but you should still talk to a medical professional about how you react to different medications.

The number and frequency of patches you use should be determined by your doctor, and depends on your condition, how you react to chemotherapy, and how you react to the skin patches. Always follow your doctor's recommendation about taking and how to properly apply Granisetron skin patches.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had a bad reaction to skin patch medications or if you have ever had a stomach or intestinal problem, disorder, or surgery before using Granisetron skin patches.

The skin patch should not be exposed to direct sun, harsh light, or strong artificial light. Avoid physical activity or other activities (like swimming, hot tubs, sauna) that may cause the patch to come off.

Do not use more than one patch at a time. While you are using Granisetron skin patches, do not take any other form of Granisetron.

Store Granisetron at room temperature, out of the reach of children. Do not store in direct light or a moist environment. Do not remove Granisetron skin patches from their packaging until you are ready to use them.