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Drugs & Medications

aprepitant

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Emend

GENERIC NAME(S): APREPITANT

Uses

Aprepitant is used with other medications to help prevent nausea and vomiting caused by cancer drug treatment (chemotherapy). This medication is also used to prevent nausea and vomiting after surgery. Aprepitant works by blocking one of the body's natural substances (substance P/neurokinin 1) that causes vomiting.

This medication will not treat nausea or vomiting if you already have it. Contact your doctor for further instructions if you are experiencing nausea or vomiting.

How to use aprepitant

Read the Patient Information Leaflet available from your pharmacist before you start taking this medication and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth, with or without food. To prevent nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy, you will usually take the first dose 1 hour before treatment. On the following 2 days, you will usually take the dose once daily in the morning or as directed by your doctor. If you are taking this medication to prevent nausea and vomiting after surgery, you will usually take one dose of 40 milligrams before surgery.

Dosage is based on your medical condition (depending on whether you are taking this medication before cancer chemotherapy or surgery) and response to treatment. It is important to follow your doctor's instructions for when to take each dose, how long to keep taking it, and the strength (number of milligrams) of each dose. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Tell your doctor if you develop nausea or vomiting.

Side Effects

Tiredness and hiccups may occur. If either of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

Before using aprepitant, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to fosaprepitant; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver problems.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug include: cisapride, drugs affecting liver enzymes that remove aprepitant from your body (such as azole antifungals including itraconazole, macrolide antibiotics including erythromycin, cimetidine, rifamycins including rifabutin, St. John's wort, certain anti-seizure medicines including carbamazepine/phenytoin, certain cancer chemotherapy drugs including ifosfamide/vinblastine/vincristine), pimozide.

Aprepitant can both speed up and slow down the removal of other drugs from your body, thereby affecting how they work. These affected drugs include (not a complete list): benzodiazepines (e.g., alprazolam, midazolam, triazolam), simvastatin, drugs to treat erectile dysfunction-ED or pulmonary hypertension (e.g., sildenafil, tadalafil).

If you take warfarin, this drug may affect how well warfarin works in your body. Therefore, your doctor should test your blood during the 2 weeks after your aprepitant treatment to measure how well warfarin is working.

This medication may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring. This could cause pregnancy. Discuss with your doctor or pharmacist if you should use additional reliable birth control methods while using this medication and for 1 month after stopping this medication. Also tell your doctor if you have any new spotting or breakthrough bleeding, because these may be signs that your birth control is not working well.

Aprepitant is very similar to fosaprepitant. Do not use fosaprepitant while using aprepitant.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

Missed Dose

It is important that you take each dose according to the prescribed schedule. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately to establish a new dosing schedule.

Storage

Store at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Information last revised March 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.

Images

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Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, expect as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use.

CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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