"Nov. 29, 2012 (Chicago) -- For cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy who have found their complaints of general mental fogginess and haziness dismissed by their doctors as not being a real medical condition, vindication has arrived.
The use of granisetron in patients may mask a progressive ileus and/or gastric distention caused by the underlying condition.
The development of serotonin syndrome has been reported with 5-HT3 receptor antagonists. Most reports have been associated with concomitant use of serotonergic drugs (e.g., selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors, mirtazapine, fentanyl, lithium, tramadol, and intravenous methylene blue). Some of the reported cases were fatal. Serotonin syndrome occurring with overdose of another 5-HT3 receptor antagonist alone has also been reported. The majority of reports of serotonin syndrome related to 5-HT3 receptor antagonist use occurred in a post-anesthesia care unit or an infusion center.
Symptoms associated with serotonin syndrome may include the following combination of signs and symptoms: mental status changes (e.g., agitation, hallucinations, delirium, and coma), autonomic instability (e.g., tachycardia, labile blood pressure, dizziness, diaphoresis, flushing, hyperthermia), neuromuscular symptoms (e.g., tremor, rigidity, myoclonus, hyperreflexia, incoordination), seizures, with or without gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). Patients should be monitored for the emergence of serotonin syndrome, especially with concomitant use of Sancuso and other serotonergic drugs. If symptoms of serotonin syndrome occur, discontinue Sancuso and initiate supportive treatment. Patients should be informed of the increased risk of serotonin syndrome, especially if Sancuso is used concomitantly with other serotonergic drugs. [see DRUG INTERACTIONS, PATIENT INFORMATION].
In clinical trials with Sancuso, application site reactions were reported which were generally mild in intensity and did not lead to discontinuation of use. The incidence of reactions was comparable with placebo.
If severe reactions, or a generalized skin reaction occur (e.g. allergic rash, including erythematous, macular, papular rash or pruritus), the patch must be removed.
External Heat Sources
A heat pad should not be applied over or in vicinity of Sancuso patch. Patients should avoid prolonged exposure to heat as plasma concentration continues increasing during the period of heat exposure [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Exposure To Sunlight
Granisetron may be affected by direct natural or artificial sunlight. Patients must be advised to cover the patch application site, e.g. with clothing, if there is a risk of exposure to sunlight throughout the period of wear and for 10 days following its removal because of a potential skin reaction [see Nonclinical Toxicology].
Patient Counseling Information
Advise the patient to read the FDA-approved patient labeling (PATIENT INFORMATION)
Because the use of granisetron may mask a progressive ileus and/or gastric distention caused by the underlying condition, patients should be instructed to tell their physician if they have pain or swelling in their abdomen.
Patients should be instructed to remove the patch if they have a severe skin reaction, or a generalized skin reaction (e.g. allergic rash, including erythematous, macular, papular rash or pruritus). When patients remove the patch, they should be instructed to peel it off gently.
Exposure To Sunlight
Granisetron may be degraded by direct sunlight or exposure to sunlamps. In addition, an in vitro study using Chinese hamster ovary cells suggests that granisetron has the potential for photogenotoxicity [see Nonclinical Toxicology].
Patients must be advised to cover the patch application site, e.g. with clothing, if there is a risk of exposure to sunlight or sunlamps throughout the period of wear and for 10 days following its removal.
Advise patients of the possibility of serotonin syndrome with concomitant use of Sancuso and another serotonergic agent such as medications to treat depression and migraines. Advise patients to seek immediate medical attention if the following symptoms occur: changes in mental status, autonomic instability, neuromuscular symptoms, with or without gastrointestinal symptoms.
External Heat Sources
Patients should be advised not to apply a heat pad over or near the Sancuso patch. Patients should avoid prolonged exposure to heat as plasma concentration continues increasing during the period of heat exposure.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
In a 24-month carcinogenicity study, rats were treated orally with granisetron 1, 5 or 50 mg/kg/day (6, 30 or 300 mg/m²/day). The 50 mg/kg/day dose was reduced to 25 mg/kg/day (150 mg/m²/day) during week 59 due to toxicity. For a 50 kg person of average height (1.46 m² body surface area), these doses represent about 2.6, 13 and 65 times the recommended clinical dose (3.1 mg/day, 2.3 mg/m²/day, delivered by the Sancuso patch, on a body surface area basis). There was a statistically significant increase in the incidence of hepatocellular carcinomas and adenomas in males treated with 5 mg/kg/day (30 mg/m²/day, about 13 times the recommended human dose with Sancuso, on a body surface area basis) and above, and in females treated with 25 mg/kg/day (150 mg/m²/day, about 65 times the recommended human dose with Sancuso, on a body surface area basis). No increase in liver tumors was observed at a dose of 1 mg/kg/day (6 mg/m²/day, about 2.6 times the recommended human dose with Sancuso, on a body surface area basis) in males and 5 mg/kg/day (30 mg/m²/day, about 13 times the recommended human dose with Sancuso, on a body surface area basis) in females.
In a 12-month oral toxicity study, treatment with granisetron 100 mg/kg/day (600 mg/m²/day, about 261 times the recommended human dose with Sancuso, on a body surface area basis) produced hepatocellular adenomas in male and female rats while no such tumors were found in the control rats. A 24-month mouse carcinogenicity study of granisetron did not show a statistically significant increase in tumor incidence, but the study was not conclusive.
Granisetron was not mutagenic in an in vitro Ames test and mouse lymphoma cell forward mutation assay, and in vivo mouse micronucleus test and in vitro and ex vivo rat hepatocyte UDS assays. It, however, produced a significant increase in UDS in HeLa cells in vitro and a significant increased incidence of cells with polyploidy in an in vitro human lymphocyte chromosomal aberration test.
Granisetron at subcutaneous doses up to 6 mg/kg/day (36 mg/m²/day, about 16 times the recommended human dose of Sancuso, on a body surface area basis), and oral doses up to 100 mg/kg/day (600 mg/m²/day, about 261 times the recommended human dose of Sancuso, on a body surface area basis) was found to have no effect on fertility and reproductive performance of male and female rats.
When tested for potential photogenotoxicity in vitro in a Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell line, at 200 and 300 mcg/ml, granisetron increased the percentage of cells with chromosomal aberration following photoirradiation.
Granisetron was not phototoxic when tested in vitro in a mouse fibroblast cell line. When tested in vivo in guinea-pigs, Sancuso patches did not show any potential for photoirritation or photosensitivity. No phototoxicity studies have been performed in humans.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category B
Reproduction studies with granisetron hydrochloride have been performed in pregnant rats at intravenous doses up to 9 mg/kg/day (54 mg/m²/day, about 24 times the recommended human dose delivered by the Sancuso patch, based on body surface area) and oral doses up to 125 mg/kg/day (750 mg/m²/day, about 326 times the recommended human dose with Sancuso based on body surface area). Reproduction studies have been performed in pregnant rabbits at intravenous doses up to 3 mg/kg/day (36 mg/m²/day, about 16 times the human dose with Sancuso based on body surface area) and at oral doses up to 32 mg/kg/day (384 mg/m²/day, about 167 times the human dose with Sancuso based on body surface area). These studies did not reveal any evidence of impaired fertility or harm to the fetus due to granisetron. There are, however, no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, Sancuso should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
It is not known whether granisetron is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when Sancuso is administered to a nursing woman.
Safety and effectiveness of Sancuso have not been established in pediatric patients.
Clinical studies of Sancuso did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, cautious treatment selection for an elderly patient is prudent because of the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.
Renal Impairment Or Hepatic Impairment
Although no studies have been performed to investigate the pharmacokinetics of Sancuso in patients with renal or hepatic impairment, pharmacokinetic information is available for intravenous granisetron [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Last reviewed on RxList: 10/7/2015
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