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Aprepitant, Fosaprepitant (Generic name) Other Names: Emend®

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About This Drug

Aprepitant or fosaprepitant is a medication used before chemotherapy to prevent you from becoming nauseous or throwing up (vomiting) during chemotherapy. It is given by an intravenous (IV) infusion or as an oral tablet by mouth.

Possible Side Effects (More Common)

  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Hiccups

Possible Side Effects (Less Common)

  • Diarrhea or constipation (not able to move bowels)
  • Rash

Infusion Reactions

Tell your doctor or nurse if you have burning, pain, itching, or a bump under your skin where the needle is placed.

Allergic Reactions

Serious allergic reactions including anaphylaxis are rare. While you are getting this drug in your vein (IV), tell your nurse right away if you have any of these symptoms of an allergic reaction:

  • trouble catching your breath
  • feeling like your tongue or throat are swelling
  • feeling your heart beat quickly or in a not normal way (palpitations)
  • feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • flushing, itching, rash, and/or hives

Treating Side Effects

  • Ask your doctor or nurse about medicines that are available to help stop or lessen constipation.
  • If you are not able to move your bowels, check with your doctor or nurse before you use enemas, laxatives, or suppositories.
  • Drink 6-8 cups of fluids each day unless your doctor has told you to limit your fluid intake due to some other health problem. A cup is 8 ounces of fluid. If you throw up or have loose bowel movements, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated (lack water in the body from losing too much fluid).
  • Ask your doctor or nurse about medicine that is available to help stop or lessen loose bowel movements.
  • Notify your doctor if you experience headache.
  • Notify your doctor if you experience hiccups.

Important Information

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Birth control pills may not work as well while you are taking this medication, so use another form of birth control (such as a condom) during treatment and for 1 month after treatment. If you are taking a blood thinner such as warfarin, your doctor may need to check your blood after you receive this medication.

Food and Drug Interactions

There are no known interactions of aprepitant or fosaprepitant with food. This drug may interact with cisapride and pimozide, so you should not receive this medication together with them. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are using diltiazem, rifampin, tolbutamide, a blood thinner (warfarin), a steroid (such as dexamethasone), medicine for seizures (phenytoin or carbamazepine), a sedative (such as alprazolam, midazolam, triazolam), medicine for depression (such as paroxetine), medicine for an infection (such as clarithromycin or itraconazole) or medicine for HIV/AIDS (such as ritonavir). Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medication and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs, and others) that you are currently taking. The safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often unknown. Using these might unexpectedly affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's help.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Allergic reaction (hives, itching, difficulty breathing, swelling of your mouth/throat)
  • Warmth or redness in your face or upper body

Call your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if any of the following symptoms occur:

  • Fatigue that interferes with your daily activities
  • Headache that does not go away
  • No bowel movement for 3 days or you feel uncomfortable
  • Extreme weakness that interferes with normal activities

Reproduction Concerns

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug is not expected to harm an unborn child. Talk to your doctor about the use of this drug if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
  • Breast feeding warning: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. For this reason, women should talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of breast feeding during treatment with this drug because this drug may enter the breast milk and badly harm a breast feeding baby.

Last updated March 2016