Dolasetron blocks chemicals in the body that can trigger nausea and vomiting. Many times Dolasetron is prescribed to treat nausea that is caused by surgery, anesthesia, or chemotherapy. It is classified as a serotonin 5-HT3 receptor antagonist.
The FDA warned the public in 2010 that the use of Dolasteron to prevent nausea may lead to a heart condition called “Torsades de pointes,” French for “twisting of the points.” This form of ventricular tachycardia can be potentially fatal. Patients, who have a particular risk when taking Dolasetron, are those with an underlying heart condition or heart rhythm problem. The FDA advised doctors to no longer use Dolasetron to prevent nausea associated with chemotherapy.
The FDA did state that Dolasetron could still be used to treat nausea in postoperative situations, because the dose was much smaller in these instances and is not thought to interfere with the heart’s electrical activity as much.
Dolasetron tablets have also been approved by the FDA for use. The injectable version of the drug is thought to cause serious side effects; the tablet is still approved for use in chemotherapy patients, who require a higher dose to treat the side effects of chemo.
Serious side effects may include:
- Feeling like you might pass out
- Slow heart rate, weak pulse, slow breathing
- Swelling in your hands or feet
- Headache with chest pain and severe dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeats
- Urinating less than usual or not at all
Less serious side effects may include:
- Mild headache
- Tired feeling, mild dizziness
- Diarrhea, constipation, upset stomach, loss of appetite
- Chills, shivering, numbness or tingly feeling
- Fever, sweating
- Joint or muscle pain