Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Usage and side effects of Emend

 Emend is a prescription only drug used to treat vomiting (antiemetic) associated with cancer chemotherapy and vomiting that results after surgery. Its generic name is Aprepitant. It belongs to a class called “substance p” antagonists. It acts by blocking neurokinin 1 receptor. it is contra indicated (should avoid) in breast feeding.

It is usually used with dexamethazone, and other antiemetics in preventing nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy. Antiemetic drugs are usually used after identifying the cause for vomiting. Otherwise it can cause dangerous complications. So doctor will question you thoroughly before starting on emend.

Most common side effects of Emend

Usually patients get hiccups, burning sensation in stomach, and diarrhea. It sometimes causes constipation.  Headache and dizziness are complained commonly.

Less common side effects Emend

It can rarely cause weight changes (gain or loss).

Dry mouth is reported with some patients receiving the drug. Some patients complain flatulence.  Duodenal ulcers are reported very rarely. Doctors sometimes detect reduced heart rate (bradycardia) with few patients who are taking the drug.  Dry cough is also a rare side effect.

Sometimes patients complain abnormal dreams with the drug. Few patients can be disoriented with the drug, especially elderly patients. Sometimes patients mood can be elevated abnormally (euphoria) by the drug. Increased anxiety is also reported with the drug. Diabetic patients should be careful with the drug, because it can increase the blood sugar levels. So the doctor might need to increase the anti diabetic medication.

Passing increased amount of urine and thirst are another rare side effect. Some patients also complain painful urination with the drug.  Rarely blood hemoglobin levels decrease with the drug (anemia). Muscle pain is also another side effect. Sore throat can occur with some patients taking emend. Some patients report sweating and itchiness. Acne is another rare side effect affecting young individuals.  Photo sensitivity and flushing can occur with some patients. Decreased serum sodium levels can be a problem. This can leads to unexplained fits in some patients who are receiving cancer chemotherapy.

Drug interactions
It can possibly reduce anti coagulant effects of warfarin. Carbamazepine reduces emend plasma concentration. It also reduces the serum concentration of tolbutamide, and increases plasma concentration of dexamethazone.

Drug should not be used in patients with hepatic impairment.


No information is available at the moment about side effects to the fetus. Can use if the benefit of taking the drug outweighs the risk (doctor has to decide).


British National Formulary 58th edition