Dolasetron Mesylate (Anzemet) injection can cause a potentially fatal abnormal heart rhythm called Torsade de pointes. In December 2010, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that Dolasetron injection should no longer be used to prevent nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy treatment in pediatric or adult patients. Lawyers at our firm who specialize in defective drug litigation are investigating potential Dolasetron lawsuits on behalf of anyone who suffered a heart injury while using this drug.
Our Dolasetron injury lawyers are currently offering free case evaluations to victims of this defective medication. If you or someone you love suffered a serious heart rhythm problem because of Dolasetron, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. We urge you to contact one of our Dolasetron injury lawyers today to protect your legal rights.
Dolasetron Abnormal Heart Rhythm
Dolasetron is used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy, anesthesia, or surgery. Dolasetron is in a class of medications called serotonin 5-HT3 receptor antagonists. It works by blocking the vomiting reflex in the brain. Dolasetron is available in an injection, and in oral pill form.
According to the FDA warning, new data from a manufacturer study demonstrate that Dolasetron injection can increase the risk of developing Torsade de pointes, an abnormal heart rhythm, which in some cases can be fatal. Patients at particular risk are those with underlying heart conditions or those who have existing heart rate or rhythm problems. Dolasetron causes a dose-dependent prolongation in the QT, PR, and QRS intervals on an electrocardiogram.
Torsade de pointes, a French term that literally means “twisting of the points” is a lethal form of ventricular tachycardia. Without treatment, few patients survive Torsade de pointes once it develops. The key to preventing sudden cardiac death lies in early detection of warning signs. Patients should seek immediate care if they experience an abnormal heart rate or rhythm, or symptoms such as a racing heart beat, shortness of breath, dizziness, or fainting while taking Dolasetron.
A contraindication for Dolasetron injection stating that it should not be used to prevent nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy treatment is being added to the drug’s label. According to the FDA, Dolasetron should not be used in patients with congenital long-QT syndrome. Hypokalemia (low potassium levels) and hypomagnesemia (low magnesium levels) should be corrected before administering Dolasetron. These electrolytes should be monitored after administration as clinically indicated. The FDA is also advising that doctors use electrocardiogram monitoring in patients with congestive heart failure, patients with bradycardia, patients with underlying heart disease, the elderly and in patients who are renally impaired who are taking Dolasetron.
Dolasetron injection may still be used for the prevention and treatment of postoperative nausea and vomiting because the lower doses used are less likely to affect the electrical activity of the heart and result in abnormal heart rhythms, the FDA said.
Dolasetron tablets may still be used to prevent nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing chemotherapy because the risk of developing an abnormal heart rhythm with the oral form of this drug is less than that seen with the injection form, according to the FDA. However, a stronger warning about this potential risk is being added to the Warnings and Precautions sections of the Dolasetron tablet label.
Legal Help for Victims of Dolasetron Injuries
If you or a loved one suffered a dangerous or fatal abnormal heart rhythm because of an Dolasetron injection, you may have valuable legal rights. To discuss your case with one of our Dolasetron injury lawyers, please fill out our online form, or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-80-968-7529) today.