Kytril-Granisetron

Patient Education Quick Reference Guide Diablo Valley Oncology/Hematology Medical Group Phone Number: 925-677-5041

Uses For This Medication
  • Granisetron, referred to as an “antiemetic”, is used to prevent nausea and vomiting that can occur as a side effect of chemotherapy. Granisetron helps prevent nausea and vomiting that can occur the same day as chemotherapy.
  • Granisetron is also used to prevent nausea and vomiting that can occur as a side effect of radiation therapy.
  • Granisetron is also used to prevent nausea and vomiting that can occur after surgery.
  • While granisetron has been shown to effectively prevent nausea and vomiting, it has not been shown to help treat existing nausea and vomiting.
  How This Medication Works Granisetron belongs to a specific class of antiemetics known as the 5HT-3 receptor antagonists. Granisetron works by blocking a chemical called “serotonin” which is believed to cause nausea and vomiting.   Benefits of This Medication Granisetron helps prevent and control nausea and vomiting that can occur on the same day as chemotherapy. Granisetron is also effective in preventing nausea and vomiting that can occur after receiving radiation therapy and after surgery.   Who Should Not Take This Medication You should not take this medication if you:
  • Are allergic to granisetron or any of its components
  Precautions to be Aware of Before Taking This Medication

Allergy related precautions

Allergic reactions may occur in patients who have had allergic reactions to other 5-HT3 receptor antagonists such as dolasetron (Anzemet®), ondansetron (Zofran®) or palonosetron (Aloxi®). If you have ever received any of these other products and experienced an allergic reaction, you should let your doctor or healthcare provider know before receiving granisetron.

Organ related precautions

This medication is broken down by enzymes (chemicals) in the liver and cleared from the body. In patients with severe liver disease, granisetron may not break down normally which can lead to high levels of this medication in the body and a greater chance of side effects. If you have any liver problems before starting this medication, make sure that you tell your doctor or healthcare provider so that he or she can watch you carefully for possible problems or side effects.  

Patient specific precautions

  • It is not known if this medication is safe and effective in children under 2 years of age. In children older than 2 years of age, granisetron is safe and effective.
 

Pregnancy and breastfeeding precautions

  • It is not known whether or not this medication can cause fetal harm. Tell your doctor or healthcare provider right away if you or your spouse/partner becomes pregnant while on this medication.
  • It is not known whether this medication is found or excreted in breast milk. Since many medications are excreted in breast milk and because this medication can cause serious harmful reactions in infants, breastfeeding should be avoided.
 

Medication and Food Interactions

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or healthcare provider of all prescription or over-the-counter products you are taking, including dietary supplements or vitamins, herbal medicines and homeopathic remedies. Do not start or stop any medication without your doctor or healthcare provider’s approval.
  • It is not known whether this medication interacts with other medications you are taking.
 

Side Effects

  • The side effects associated with granisetron listed below are taken from the manufacturer package insert.
  • All medications can cause side effects. However, not all patients will experience these side effects. In addition, other side effects not listed can also occur in some patients. You should call your doctor or healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns while you are on this medication.
  • You should contact your doctor or healthcare provider if you experience any side effect(s) which don’t go away, worsen, are serious in nature, or are worrisome to you.
  • Granisetron is typically given together with chemotherapy medications. Side effects that you may experience with granisetron can be related to the combination of granisetron and the chemotherapy medications together. The side effects listed below are those reported in patients who were being treated with granisetron in combination with chemotherapy medications.
 

Less common side effects

  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Weakness
 

Rare side effects

This is not a complete list of the rare side effects reported with granisetron. For a complete list, please talk with your doctor or healthcare provider about reviewing a copy of the package insert.
  • Diarrhea, stomach pain, indigestion, changes in taste 
  • Sleepiness, agitation, anxiety, difficulty sleeping 
  • Fever 
  • Changes in liver function blood tests 
  • Changes in blood pressure, changes in heart rate
  • Allergic reactions including shortness of breath, decrease in blood pressure, hives, and/or swelling of the face (see Precautions To Be Aware Of Before Taking This Medication) 
  • Skin rashes
  How To Take This Medication
  • This medication is either taken by mouth (orally) or given by injection into a vein (IV) by a healthcare professional. This medication can be given in different doses depending on your weight, whether you are receiving IV or oral granisetron, and your type of condition. If you are taking this medication orally, be sure to take it exactly as directed by your doctor or healthcare provider. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your doctor or healthcare provider to explain them to you.
  • It is important that you only use this medication when it’s been prescribed for you. Sharing this medication with someone for whom it is not prescribed could cause harm.
  • In the unlikely event of an overdose of this medication contact your doctor, your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222, or emergency services immediately.
  Proper Storage
  • If you are receiving the IV form of granisetron, it is unlikely that you will need to store this medication. However, in the event that you do, the unopened containers should be stored at controlled room temperature. Keep in original package to protect from light.
  • If you are taking the oral form of granisetron, the tablets and oral liquid should be stored at controlled room temperature. Keep in original package to protect from light.
  • Keep this medication out of the reach of children or pets.
  • Ask your doctor or healthcare provider how to dispose of any medication that you no longer use.