GRANISETRON HYDROCHLORIDE — granisetron hydrochloride injection


Granisetron hydrochloride injection is a serotonin-3 (5-HT3 ) receptor antagonist indicated for:

  • The prevention of nausea and/or vomiting associated with initial and repeat courses of emetogenic cancer therapy, including high-dose cisplatin.


2.1 Prevention of Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting

Adult Patients

The recommended dosage for granisetron hydrochloride injection is 10 mcg/kg administered intravenously within 30 minutes before initiation of chemotherapy, and only on the day(s) chemotherapy is given.

Infusion Preparation

Granisetron hydrochloride injection may be administered intravenously either undiluted over 30 seconds, or diluted with 0.9% Sodium Chloride or 5% Dextrose and infused over 5 minutes.


Intravenous infusion of granisetron hydrochloride injection should be prepared at the time of administration. However, granisetron hydrochloride injection has been shown to be stable for at least 24 hours when diluted in 0.9% Sodium Chloride or 5% Dextrose and stored at room temperature under normal lighting conditions.

As a general precaution, granisetron hydrochloride injection should not be mixed in solution with other drugs. Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration before administration whenever solution and container permit.

Pediatric Patients

The recommended dose in pediatric patients 2 to 16 years of age is 10 mcg/kg [see Clinical Studies (14)]. Pediatric patients under 2 years of age have not been studied.


Multi-Use Vials for Injection: 4 mg/4mL


Granisetron hydrochloride injection is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity (eg. anaphylaxis, shortness of breath, hypotension, urticaria) to the drug or to any of its components.


5.1 Gastric or Intestinal Peristalsis

Granisetron hydrochloride injection is not a drug that stimulates gastric or intestinal peristalsis. It should not be used instead of nasogastric suction. The use of granisetron hydrochloride injection in patients following abdominal surgery or in patients with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting may mask a progressive ileus and/or gastric distention.

5.2 Cardiovascular Events

An adequate QT assessment has not been conducted, but QT prolongation has been reported with granisetron hydrochloride injection. Therefore, granisetron hydrochloride injection should be used with caution in patients with pre-existing arrhythmias or cardiac conduction disorders, as this might lead to clinical consequences. Patients with cardiac disease, on cardio-toxic chemotherapy, with concomitant electrolyte abnormalities and/or on concomitant medications that prolong the QT interval are particularly at risk.

5.3 Hypersensitivity Reactions

Hypersensitivity reactions (eg. anaphylaxis, shortness of breath, hypotension, urticaria) may occur in patients who have exhibited hypersensitivity to other selective 5-HT3 receptor antagonists.


QT prolongation has been reported with granisetron hydrochloride injection [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2) and Drug Interactions (7)].

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in patients.

Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting

The following have been reported during controlled clinical trials or in the routine management of patients. The percentage figures are based on clinical trial experience only. Table 1 gives the comparative frequencies of the two most commonly reported adverse reactions (≥3%) in patients receiving granisetron hydrochloride injection, in single-day chemotherapy trials. These patients received chemotherapy, primarily cisplatin, and intravenous fluids during the 24-hour period following granisetron hydrochloride injection administration. Reactions were generally recorded over seven days post-granisetron hydrochloride injection administration.

Table 1 Principal Adverse Reactions in Clinical Trials-Single-Day Chemotherapy
Percent of Patients With Reaction
Granisetron Hydrochloride Injection40 mcg/kg(n=1268)Comparator1 (n=422)
1 Metoclopramide/dexamethasone and phenothiazines/ dexamethasone.

Additional adverse events reported in clinical trials were asthenia, somnolence and diarrhea.

In over 3,000 patients receiving granisetron hydrochloride injection (2 to 160 mcg/kg) in single-day and multiple-day clinical trials with emetogenic cancer therapies, adverse events, other than those adverse reactions listed in Table 1, were observed; attribution of many of these events to granisetron hydrochloride injection is uncertain.

Hepatic: In comparative trials, mainly with cisplatin regimens, elevations of AST and ALT (>2 times the upper limit of normal) following administration of granisetron hydrochloride injection occurred in 2.8% and 3.3% of patients, respectively. These frequencies were not significantly different from those seen with comparators (AST: 2.1%; ALT: 2.4%).

Cardiovascular: Hypertension (2%); hypotension, arrhythmias such as sinus bradycardia, atrial fibrillation, varying degrees of A-V block, ventricular ectopy including non-sustained tachycardia, and ECG abnormalities have been observed rarely.

Central Nervous System: Agitation, anxiety, CNS stimulation and insomnia were seen in less than 2% of patients. Extrapyramidal syndrome occurred rarely and only in the presence of other drugs associated with this syndrome.

Hypersensitivity: Rare cases of hypersensitivity reactions, sometimes severe (eg, anaphylaxis, shortness of breath, hypotension, urticaria) have been reported.

Other: Fever (3%), taste disorder (2%), skin rashes (1%). In multiple-day comparative studies, fever occurred more frequently with granisetron hydrochloride injection (8.6%) than with comparative drugs (3.4%, P<0.014), which usually included dexamethasone.

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval use of granisetron hydrochloride injection. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to granisetron hydrochloride injection exposure.

[see Warnings and Precautions (5.2) and Drug Interactions (7)].


Granisetron does not induce or inhibit the cytochrome P-450 drug-metabolizing enzyme system in vitro. There have been no definitive drug-drug interaction studies to examine pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic interaction with other drugs; however, in humans, granisetron hydrochloride injection has been safely administered with drugs representing benzodiazepines, neuroleptics and anti-ulcer medications commonly prescribed with antiemetic treatments. Granisetron hydrochloride injection also does not appear to interact with emetogenic cancer chemotherapies. Because granisetron is metabolized by hepatic cytochrome P-450 drug-metabolizing enzymes, inducers or inhibitors of these enzymes may change the clearance and, hence, the half-life of granisetron. No specific interaction studies have been conducted in anesthetized patients. In addition, the activity of the cytochrome P-450 subfamily 3A4 (involved in the metabolism of some of the main narcotic analgesic agents) is not modified by granisetron hydrochloride injection in vitro.

In in vitro human microsomal studies, ketoconazole inhibited ring oxidation of granisetron hydrochloride injection. However, the clinical significance of in vivo pharmacokinetic interactions with ketoconazole is not known. In a human pharmacokinetic study, hepatic enzyme induction with phenobarbital resulted in a 25% increase in total plasma clearance of intravenous granisetron hydrochloride injection. The clinical significance of this change is not known.

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