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Emend (Generic Aprepitant)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Aprepitant is a medication primarily prescribed to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. Chemotherapy drugs often induce nausea and vomiting as side effects, which can significantly impact a patient’s quality of life and ability to tolerate treatment. Aprepitant works by blocking the action of substance P, a neurotransmitter involved in triggering nausea and vomiting. By inhibiting substance P, aprepitant helps to reduce or prevent chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, making the treatment process more manageable for patients. Additionally, it may also be used in combination with other medications to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by surgery or other medical procedures.

How should this medicine be used?

Aprepitant, whether in capsule form or oral suspension (liquid), is typically used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. Here’s how each form is generally used:

  • Aprepitant Capsules:
    • Aprepitant capsules are usually taken orally by mouth.
    • They can be taken with or without food.
    • The dosage and schedule depend on the specific chemotherapy regimen and individual patient factors.
    • Typically, the first dose of Aprepitant capsules is taken approximately one hour before starting chemotherapy.
    • Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully regarding the dosage and timing of each dose.
    • Swallow the capsules whole with a glass of water.
    • Do not crush, chew, or open the capsules unless directed to do so by your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Aprepitant Oral Suspension (Liquid):
    • Aprepitant oral suspension is also taken orally.
    • Shake the bottle well before each use to ensure proper mixing of the medication.
    • Use a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup to measure the correct dose of the suspension.
    • The dosage and frequency of use will be determined by your doctor based on your specific chemotherapy treatment plan and medical condition.
    • Take the oral suspension as directed by your doctor, usually about one hour before starting chemotherapy.
    • If you are unsure about how to measure or administer the oral suspension, consult your doctor or pharmacist for guidance.

Regardless of the form (capsule or oral suspension), it’s essential to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully regarding the dosage, timing, and duration of treatment with Aprepitant. If you have any questions or concerns about how to use this medication, don’t hesitate to ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for clarification.

Other uses for this medicine

For other uses or conditions not listed here, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional. Aprepitant is primarily approved for preventing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, but it may have off-label uses that your doctor can advise on.

What special precautions should I follow?

As for special precautions to follow when using Aprepitant, here are some important considerations:

  • Allergic reactions: Inform your doctor if you have any allergies to Aprepitant or any other medications. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience signs of an allergic reaction, such as rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, or difficulty breathing.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. Aprepitant should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed and under the guidance of a healthcare provider. It is not recommended to breastfeed while using Aprepitant.
  • Liver function: Aprepitant is metabolized by the liver, so it should be used with caution in individuals with liver impairment. Your doctor may adjust the dosage or monitor your liver function during treatment.
  • Interactions with other medications: Inform your doctor about all the medications, vitamins, and supplements you are currently taking, as Aprepitant may interact with certain drugs. This includes both prescription and over-the-counter medications.
  • Drowsiness and dizziness: Aprepitant may cause drowsiness or dizziness. Avoid driving, operating machinery, or engaging in activities that require alertness until you know how this medication affects you.
  • Alcohol and CNS depressants: Avoid consuming alcohol or taking other medications that may cause central nervous system depression while using Aprepitant, as it may enhance the sedative effects.

Always follow your doctor’s instructions and advice regarding the use of Aprepitant, and do not hesitate to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have about its use and potential side effects.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There are no specific dietary restrictions associated with Aprepitant. However, it’s generally recommended to take Aprepitant capsules with or without food and to follow your doctor’s instructions regarding any dietary considerations during chemotherapy treatment.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dose of Aprepitant, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you have any questions about missed doses or how to take Aprepitant, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Like any medication, aprepitant can cause side effects, although not everyone experiences them. Common side effects of aprepitant may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hiccups
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Changes in taste

These side effects are usually mild and temporary. However, if any of these side effects persist or worsen, it’s important to inform your healthcare provider.

In some cases, aprepitant may cause more serious side effects. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as rash, itching, swelling of the face, tongue, or throat, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.
  • Severe or persistent dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Signs of liver problems, such as yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, or persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Signs of a severe skin reaction, such as blistering, peeling, or rash

It’s important to discuss any concerns or unusual symptoms with your healthcare provider. They can provide guidance and determine whether any adjustments to your treatment plan are necessary.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage and disposal of Aprepitant:

  • Storage:
    • Store Aprepitant capsules or oral suspension at room temperature away from light and moisture.
    • Keep it out of reach of children and pets.
    • Do not store Aprepitant in the bathroom, as moisture and humidity can affect its stability.
  • Disposal:
    • Dispose of unused or expired Aprepitant safely by following local guidelines or instructions provided by your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
    • Do not flush Aprepitant down the toilet or pour it into a drain unless instructed to do so.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • In case of an overdose or emergency, such as accidentally taking too much Aprepitant, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.
  • If someone collapses or has trouble breathing after taking Aprepitant, call emergency services right away.

What other information should I know?

  • Keep all appointments with your doctor and laboratory while using Aprepitant. Your doctor may order certain tests to monitor your body’s response to the medication.
  • It’s important to inform all healthcare providers involved in your care that you are taking Aprepitant, including dentists, surgeons, and emergency medical personnel.
  • Avoid grapefruit or grapefruit juice while using Aprepitant, as it may increase the levels of the medication in your bloodstream and potentially increase the risk of side effects.
  • If you are undergoing chemotherapy, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully regarding the timing and administration of Aprepitant alongside other anti-nausea medications.

Always consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about the storage, disposal, emergency procedures, or other aspects of using Aprepitant. They can provide personalized guidance based on your specific situation and medical history.

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