Palonosetron (INN, trade name Aloxi) is a 5-HT3 antagonist used in the prevention and treatment of postoperative and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (PONV and CINV). Palonosetron is a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist with a strong binding affinity for this receptor and little or no affinity for other receptors. Cancer chemotherapy may be associated with a high incidence of nausea and vomiting, particularly when certain agents, such as cisplatin, are used. 5-HT3 receptors are located on the nerve terminals of the vagus in the periphery and centrally in the chemoreceptor trigger zone of the area postrema. It is thought that chemotherapeutic agents produce nausea and vomiting by releasing serotonin from the enterochromaffin cells of the small intestine and that the released serotonin then activates 5-HT3 receptors located on vagal afferents to initiate the vomiting reflex. Postoperative nausea and vomiting is influenced by multiple patients, surgical and anesthesia-related factors and is triggered by the release of 5-HT in a cascade of neuronal events involving both the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract. The 5-HT3 receptor has been demonstrated to selectively participate in the emetic response. The most common adverse effects are a headache, which occurs in 4–11% of patients, and constipation in up to 6% of patients. In less than 1% of patients, other gastrointestinal disorders occur, as well as sleeplessness, first- and second-degree atrioventricular block, muscle pain and shortness of breath. Palonosetron is similarly well tolerated as other sections, and slightly less than placebo. NCATS
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