Aprepitant (By mouth)

Introduction

Aprepitant (ap-RE-pi-tant)

Used with other medicines to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by cancer treatment (chemotherapy) or after surgery.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Emend

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to aprepitant, or if you are also using astemizole (Hismanal®), cisapride (Propulsid®), pimozide (Orap®), or terfenadine (Seldane®).

How to Use This Medicine

Capsule

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food.
  • For chemotherapy: Aprepitant is given together with other medicines to prevent vomiting. Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about how to take the medicines. Aprepitant is normally given once a day for 3 days in a row, beginning on the first day of chemotherapy treatment.
  • For surgery: Aprepitant is given within 3 hours before the surgery starts.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®), tolbutamide (Orinase®), diltiazem (Cardizem®, Cartia®, Tiazac®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®), medicine for seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenytoin, Dilantin®, or Tegretol®), a sedative (such as alprazolam, midazolam, triazolam, Halcion®, Versed®, or Xanax®), medicine for depression (such as nefazodone, paroxetine, Paxil®, or Serzone®), medicine to treat fungal infections (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole, Nizoral®, or Sporanox®), medicine to treat bacterial infection (such as clarithromycin, troleandomycin, or Biaxin®), or medicines to treat HIV/AIDS (such as nelfinavir, ritonavir, Norvir®, or Viracept®).
  • Your doctor might need to change your dose of some other medicines while you are using aprepitant. These include drugs often used during chemotherapy, such as etoposide (VePesid®), ifosfamide (Ifex®), imatinib (Gleevec®), irinotecan (Camptosar®), paclitaxel (Taxol®), vinblastine (Velban®), vincristine (Oncovin®), methylprednisolone, and dexamethasone (Decadron®).
  • Birth control pills may not work as well while you are using aprepitant. To keep from getting pregnant, use another form of birth control together with your pills while you are taking aprepitant and for 1 month after your last dose. Other forms of birth control include condoms, diaphragms, or contraceptive foams or jellies.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease.
  • This medicine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have itching; hives; rash; trouble with breathing; trouble with swallowing; or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth while you are using this medicine.
  • Do not use this medicine to treat nausea or vomiting that has already started.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash.
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
  • Severe stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Slow heartbeat.
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.
  • Warmth or redness in your face, neck, arms, or upper chest.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, or stomach pain or upset.
  • Continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears.
  • Hair loss.
  • Headache.
  • Hiccups.
  • Increased thirst, dry skin, or itching.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat.
  • Tiredness or weakness.
  • Trouble with sleeping.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

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

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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