CINV May Be Treated With Medicine

There are several medications available to help prevent or treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). These medicines are called antiemetics.

Nausea and vomiting occur when your brain sends signals to your stomach and to muscles in your abdomen.1,2 Antiemetics work by changing those signals, which may reduce nausea and vomiting.

Antiemetics work to prevent or treat these symptoms in different ways. Most turn off the brain's signals that start nausea and vomiting. Some medicines, like Cesamet, work in the opposite way. They turn on signals in the brain that help prevent nausea and vomiting.1,2 Cesamet may be used when other antiemetics have not been able to control these symptoms well enough.3

Your health care team might use other types of medicines along with antiemetics to help with your nausea and vomiting. Some examples are steroids and antianxiety medicines. There are different reasons your doctor might prescribe these types of medicines. If you have questions about your CINV treatment, talk to your health care provider.

Talk About Your Nausea and Vomiting

Medicines used to prevent or treat CINV don't always relieve symptoms adequately. It's important to tell your health care team if you continue to feel nauseous or vomit even though you've already taken medicine to treat these symptoms. If your health care team members know about the problem, they can help fix it.

Please see Full Prescribing Information and see below for important risk information.

References:

  1. Slatkin NE. Cannabinoids in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting: beyond prevention of acute emesis. J Support Oncol. 2007;5(suppl 3):1-9.
  2. Hesketh PJ. Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. N Engl J Med. 2008;358:2482-2494.
  3. Cesamet Prescribing Information. Somerset, NJ: Meda Pharmaceuticals Inc; 2009.

Cesamet Indication

  • Cesamet is a medicine for nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy. It is used when other drugs have not been able to control these symptoms. The scientific name of Cesamet is nabilone.
  • Doctors prescribe other drugs first because Cesamet can affect your mental state. Other nausea and vomiting drugs usually do not have this kind of side effect.
  • Cesamet can affect your mental state, so you should take it around an adult you trust. This is most important when you first take Cesamet and if your doctor changes your dose.
  • Cesamet can be abused, so there are laws about how doctors can prescribe it. Prescriptions for Cesamet should last for just a few days.
  • Your doctor might watch you for signs of abusing Cesamet. If you or a family member has ever abused drugs or had a mental illness, you might have a higher risk of abusing Cesamet.
  • Only take Cesamet when your doctor told you to. It should not be the first drug you take for nausea and vomiting.

Cesamet Important Risk Information

  • Do not take Cesamet if you are allergic to any of its ingredients or any other cannabinoids.
  • The effects of Cesamet last longer in some people than others. Mental side effects could last for 2 or 3 days after you stop taking it.
  • Cesamet works in your brain. You might feel dizzy, sleepy, "high", uncoordinated, anxious, confused, or depressed while taking Cesamet. You might also hear or see things that are not real.
  • Cesamet can make your heart race or blood pressure drop. Ask your doctor about this if you are older or have high blood pressure or heart disease.
  • Cesamet affects people differently. You should take Cesamet around an adult you trust. This is most important when you first take Cesamet or if your doctor changes your dose.
  • Do not drive, use machines, or do other activities that could be dangerous until you know how Cesamet affects you.
  • Do not drink alcohol, take sleeping pills, or take other medicines that affect your brain while you are taking Cesamet. If you do, the side effects of Cesamet could be worse.
  • Talk to your doctor if you have ever had depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or another mental disorder. Cesamet could bring out the symptoms of these illnesses.
  • Cesamet is similar to marijuana. Tell your doctor if you ever abused or were dependent on alcohol or marijuana.
  • Cesamet has not been studied in pregnant women, nursing mothers, or children. These patients should be careful when taking Cesamet.
  • Cesamet can change heart rhythms. The effects of these changes in heart rhythms are not known.
  • In scientific studies, most patients who took Cesamet had at least one side effect. The most common side effects were sleepiness, dizziness, dry mouth, a "high" feeling, an uncoordinated feeling, a headache, and problems concentrating.

Cesamet Important Risk Information

  • Do not take Cesamet if you are allergic to any of its ingredients or any other cannabinoids.
  • The effects of Cesamet last longer in some people than others. Mental side effects could last for 2 or 3 days after you stop taking it.
  • Cesamet works in your brain. You might feel dizzy, sleepy, "high", uncoordinated, anxious, confused, or depressed while taking Cesamet. You might also hear or see things that are not real.
  • Cesamet can make your heart race or blood pressure drop. Ask your doctor about this if you are older or have high blood pressure or heart disease.
  • Cesamet affects people differently. You should take Cesamet around an adult you trust. This is most important when you first take Cesamet or if your doctor changes your dose.
  • Do not drive, use machines, or do other activities that could be dangerous until you know how Cesamet affects you.
  • Do not drink alcohol, take sleeping pills, or take other medicines that affect your brain while you are taking Cesamet. If you do, the side effects of Cesamet could be worse.
  • Talk to your doctor if you have ever had depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or another mental disorder. Cesamet could bring out the symptoms of these illnesses.
  • Cesamet is similar to marijuana. Tell your doctor if you ever abused or were dependent on alcohol or marijuana.
  • Cesamet has not been studied in pregnant women, nursing mothers, or children. These patients should be careful when taking Cesamet.
  • Cesamet can change heart rhythms. The effects of these changes in heart rhythms are not known.
  • In scientific studies, most patients who took Cesamet had at least one side effect. The most common side effects were sleepiness, dizziness, dry mouth, a "high" feeling, an uncoordinated feeling, a headache, and problems concentrating.

Cesamet Indication

  • Cesamet is a medicine for nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy. It is used when other drugs have not been able to control these symptoms. The scientific name of Cesamet is nabilone.
  • Doctors prescribe other drugs first because Cesamet can affect your mental state. Other nausea and vomiting drugs usually do not have this kind of side effect.
  • Cesamet can affect your mental state, so you should take it around an adult you trust. This is most important when you first take Cesamet and if your doctor changes your dose.
  • Cesamet can be abused, so there are laws about how doctors can prescribe it. Prescriptions for Cesamet should last for just a few days.
  • Your doctor might watch you for signs of abusing Cesamet. If you or a family member has ever abused drugs or had a mental illness, you might have a higher risk of abusing Cesamet.
  • Only take Cesamet when your doctor told you to. It should not be the first drug you take for nausea and vomiting.