granisetron transdermal system (patch), Sancuso

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

What is granisetron transdermal system (patch), and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Sancuso is granisetron delivered via a transdermal patch system for the prevention of nausea and vomiting resulting from chemotherapy for cancer. Other formulations of granisetron (for example, Kytril) are administered by mouth or injection. Certain chemotherapeutic agents used for treating cancer stimulate the release of a neurotransmitter called serotonin from nerves in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that nerves use to communicate with one another. Released serotonin binds to other nerves in an area of the brain called the chemoreceptor trigger zone, causing nausea and vomiting. Granisetron, the active ingredient in Sancuso, prevents serotonin from binding to nerves in the chemoreceptor trigger zone thereby preventing nausea and vomiting. The FDA approved Sancuso in September 2008.

What brand names are available for granisetron transdermal system (patch)?


Is granisetron transdermal system (patch) available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for granisetron transdermal system (patch)?


What are the side effects of granisetron transdermal system (patch)?

The most common adverse effects of granisetron are constipation and headache. Other adverse effects include anxiety, dizziness, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and chest pain.

Allergic reactions may occur rarely.

Application site reactions (redness, bumps, rashes, blisters) may occur. The patch must be removed if serious skin reactions or generalized skin reactions occur. Light exposure (sunlight, sun lamps, tanning beds) may reduce the effect of granisetron, and granisetron may cause light sensitivity. To avoid light exposure, the application site should be covered with clothing during therapy and for 10 days after the patch is removed. Granisetron may mask the symptoms of certain gastrointestinal conditions, for example, gastroparesis or ileus (paralysis of the muscles of the stomach and small intestine, respectively) by reducing the nausea and vomiting that are their primary symptoms.

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