June 28, 2010


By Anonymous User

Class: Supportive care

Generic Name: Granisetron (gra NIS e tron) transdermal system
Trade Name: Sancuso®

For which conditions is this drug approved? Sancuso is FDA approved for the prevention of nausea and vomiting in patients receiving moderately and/or highly emetogenic (vomit-inducing) chemotherapy for up to 5 consecutive days. It is important for patients to remember that physicians have the ability to prescribe medication for conditions other than those for which the drug has been approved by the FDA. Patients who have received a prescription of this drug for a condition other than which it is approved may wish to discuss this issue with their physician.

What is the mechanism of action? Sancuso belongs to a class of drugs called antiemetics. Antiemetics help prevent nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. Sancuso produces its anti-nausea effects by binding to a receptor called 5-HT3. This binding blocks pathways that normally trigger nausea or vomiting.

How is Sancuso typically given (administered)? Sancuso is administered as a patch that sticks to the skin. The patch continuously delivers granisetron over a several-day period. The patch is applied 24 to 48 hours before chemotherapy begins.

Side effects of treatment with Sancuso are uncommon, and include the following:

  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Skin reactions
  • Difficulty identifying certain stomach and bowel problems that are from other causes

This is not a complete list of side effects. Some patients may experience other side effects that are not listed here. Patients may wish to discuss with their physician the other less common side effects of this drug, some of which may be serious.

Some side effects may require medical attention. Other side effects do not require medical attention and may go away during treatment. Patients should check with their physician about any side effects that continue or are bothersome.
What can patients do to help alleviate or prevent discomfort and side effects?

  • Pay careful attention to the physician’s instructions and inform the physician of any side effects.
  • While you wear the patch, keep it covered with clothing if you will be in sunlight or near a sunlamp, including tanning beds.
  • Keep the skin where Sancuso was applied covered for another 10 days after the patch is taken off to protect from exposure to direct sunlight.
  • Maintain adequate rest and nutrition.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. (Patients should ask their physician about the amount of liquid to consume during a day.)

Are there any special precautions patients should be aware of before starting treatment?

  • Tell your healthcare provider about all your medical conditions, including if you:
    • are allergic to medical adhesive tape, adhesive dressings or other skin patches.
    • have pain or swelling in your stomach area (abdomen).
    • are pregnant. It is not known if Sancuso will harm your unborn baby. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
    • are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed. It is not known if Sancuso passes into your breast milk.
    • Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements. Other medicines may affect how Sancuso works. Sancuso may also affect how other medicines work.
    • Sancuso contains granisetron, the same medicine in Kytril. Do not take Kytril at the same time you use Sancuso unless your healthcare provider tells you it is alright.

When should patients notify their physician?

  • Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you have any stomach area (abdominal) pain or swelling while using Sancuso.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you get any redness, rashes, bumps, blisters or itching at the patch application site, and especially if they spread outside the place where the patch was or if they appear outside the patch application site.

What is a package insert?
A package insert is required by the FDA and contains a summary of the essential scientific information needed for the safe and effective use of the drug for healthcare providers and consumers.  A package insert typically includes information regarding specific indications, administration schedules, dosing, side effects, contraindications, results from some clinical trials, chemical structure, pharmacokinetics and metabolism of the specific drug. By carefully reviewing the package insert, you will get the most complete and current information about how to safely use this drug. If you do not have the package insert for the drug you are using, your pharmacist or physician may be able to provide you with a copy.

Copyright © 2010 CancerConnect Last updated 07/10.

Important Limitations of Use

The information provided above on the drug you have selected is provided for your information only and is not a substitute for consultation with an appropriate medical doctor. We are providing this information solely as a courtesy and, as such, it is in no way a recommendation as to the safety, efficacy or appropriateness of any particular drug, regimen, dosing schedule for any particular cancer, condition or patient nor is it in any way to be considered medical advice. Patients should discuss the appropriateness of a particular drug or chemotherapy regimen with their physician.

As with any printed reference, the use of particular drugs, regimens and drug dosages may become out-of-date over time, since new information may have been published and become generally accepted after the latest update to this printed information. Please keep in mind that health care professionals are fully responsible for practicing within current standards, avoiding use of outdated regimens, employing good clinical judgment in selecting drugs and/or regimens, in calculating doses for individual patients, and verifying all dosage calculations.



The prescribing physician is solely responsible for making all decisions relating to appropriate patient care including, but not limited to, drugs, regimens, dose, schedule, and any supportive care.

Tags: Drug Dictionary, S, Supportive

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