Granisetron or Kytril is used for nausea, especially prior to chemotherapy to prevent the associated nausea and vomiting. However, it appears to be no better than a placebo for motion sickness.
Granisetron or Kytril block receptors - serotonin or 5-HT3 receptors - in the gastro intestinal tract and nervous system. These receptors are involved in nausea and vomiting. Blocking them prevents the nausea and vomiting.
The response rate is high, but decreases with repeat doses. Various other drugs are available for preventing nausea and vomiting - ondansetron, metoclopramide, corticosteroids, prochlorperazine, dronabinol, lorazepam. Often Granisetron or Kytril is given in combination with one or more of these other drugs which increases the effectiveness. In fact, one combination - Granisetron or Kytril plus the corticosteroid dexamethasone - is widely used and effective.
Granisetron or Kytril is generally well tolerated. Headache, diarrhea, constipation, and drowsiness have been reported.
Because young adults and children are especially prone to nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy, these people benefit the most from Granisetron or Kytril therapy.
Granisetron or Kytril is often combined with one or more other drugs for maximum control of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy.
Med Letter 1994;36(926):61
Annals Oncol 1994;5:579
J Clinical Oncol 1994;12(10):2204
The relevant product monographs must be regarded as the appropriate sources of prescribing information.