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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Palonosetron (Aloxi®)


Brand Name: Aloxi®

Palonosetron is used to prevent nausea and vomiting that may occur shortly after receiving chemotherapy or undergoing surgery for the treatment of cancer.

Chemotherapy for cancer can cause vomiting by triggering the release of large amounts of serotonin in the gut. Serotonin interacts with cell structures known as 5-HT3 receptors in the gut and brain stem. Palonoesetron is in a class of drugs known as 5-HT3 antagonists. These drugs block the activity of this receptor, thereby preventing vomiting.

This medication is given as injection into a vein (intravenous). Usually, palonosetron is given about 30 minutes before chemotherapy. For patients receiving multiple chemotherapy doses over the course of weeks or months, this drug may be given before each dose. The exact dose, schedule, and route of administration depends on the type of cancer being treated, how well the cancer is responding to the drug, height, weight, general health, and several other factors. Your doctor will determine the approach that is best for you. Palonosetron is used to prevent nausea and vomiting only; it cannot be used to treat nausea and vomiting that has already occurred following chemotherapy.

Palonosetron side effects

To prevent problematic interactions between palonosetron and other drugs, be sure to tell your doctor if you are allergic to any medications, and what other medications and supplements you are currently taking. You should also inform your doctor if you have or ever had liver tumor, liver disease, kidney disease, are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

Possible side effects of palonosetron may include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Anxiety
  • Weakness

Some of palonosetron’s side effects can be serious. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Hives
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing

Please note that this is not a comprehensive list. Patients may experience additional effects not mentioned above.

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), your team of cancer experts will explain each of the side effects of palonosetron with you in detail, as well as the side effects and expectations of all other medications planned as part of your individualized treatment plan.

Palonosetron for cancer treatment

Palonosetron is approved by the FDA for the following:

  • Prevention of nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy
  • Prevention of nausea and vomiting after surgery

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), our integrative approach to cancer treatment works to fight your disease on all fronts and ensures that you remain at the center of everything we do. We encourage participation from both you and your family to make certain you are comfortable with all decisions made regarding your treatment.

The information provided here is for educational purposes only. In no way should it be considered as offering medical advice. Cancer Treatment Centers of America assumes no responsibility for how this material is used. Please check with a physician if you suspect you are ill. Also note that while Cancer Treatment Centers of America frequently updates its contents, medical information changes rapidly. Therefore, some information may be out of date.