Anzemet, also known as Dolestron Mesylate, works by blocking a chemical in the body which triggers nausea and vomiting. It has been used after surgery, chemotherapy and anesthesia to relieve nausea in patients. Anzemet is classified as a serotonin 5-HT3 receptor antagonist.

The Anzemet injection has been linked to a potentially fatal heart abnormality called Torsade de pointes, which means “twisting of the points” in French. This condition is a dangerous type of ventricular tachycardia and without treatment few people survive once Torsade de pointes develops.

The FDA warned in 2010 that Anzamet injections should no longer be used to prevent nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy treatment—both pediatric and adult patients.

Other patients who are particularly at risk are ones who have underlying heart conditions, or existing heart rate or rhythm problems.

Side effects may include:

  • Headache
  • Tired feeling
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Chills, shivering
  • Dizziness
  • Fever, sweating
  • Rash

Serious side effects may include:

  • Fast or pounding heartbeats
  • Feeling faint
  • Slow heart rate, weak pulse, fainting, slow breathing
  • Chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling
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