Zofran (Ondansetron) and Anti Nausea Drugs
Mesothelioma patients undergoing an aggressive course of chemotherapy may need to consider anti-nausea drugs such as Zofran. This drug has allowed many people under going chemotherapy to keep their nausea under control.
Not all patients react the same to chemotherapy. Some experience severe nausea, sometimes vomiting every day of treatment others experience only mild nausea. The duration of nausea is also variable. In some cases nausea will continue up to a week after treatment ends. In some cases it will only be present during the initial stages of treatment.
For mild cases of nausea, very simple, low tech palliatives can be effective. Sniffing a cut surface of fresh ginger, for instance, may be all that is required in some instances of nausea (this is the same idea as drinking ginger ale to mitigate nausea during a fever). There is also anecdotal support for the "sea band" a product that is designed to alleviate motion sickness for people traveling in boats and cars. Acupuncture, visualization, and meditation are also techniques that some patients have found effective. Than of course there are medicines.
The primary medicines for mild nausea during chemotherapy are Torecan (thiethylperazine) and Compazine (prochlorperazine). For mild to serve cases of nausea, however, one of the most effective treatments available is an anti nausea drug called Zofran.
Zofran can be taken in tablet form or taken intravenously. Generally it is administered intravenously during chemotherapy and than subsequently taken in tablet form every 12 hours. For the most part, it effectively subdues nausea occurring with in one to two days of chemotherapy treatment and has no major side effects. It is particularly effective in combating nausea resulting from the use of cisplatin and cyclophosphamide. If used more than two days after chemotherapy its effectiveness is diminished. The one major drawback to Zofran is that it is very expensive. Zofran pills may cost up to $50 dollars a day, with individuals pill costing anywhere between $12 and $20.
Patients that are too ill to hold down the tablet form of Zofran can use a preparation form that quickly dissolves on the tongue. If nausea is reduced but persists, patients using Zofran can also take another anti-nausea pill such as Torecan. The Torecan tablet can be taken every six hours in between the Zofran doses. If patients are too nauseated to keep the Torecan tablet down, the Compazine suppository is another option. Ativan is also another option.
Kytril (granisetron HCI) and Anzemet (dolasetron mesylate) are alternatives to Zofran and may be worth investigating. Both can be taken intravenously or in tablet form. In tablet form, Anzemet is generally taken once a day while Kytril may be taken once or twice a day.
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