Cancer Patients Could Find Relief from Chemotherapy Side Effect

September 17, 2008 02:19 PM
by Lindsey Chapman
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new medicine patch that will relieve some of the nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.

Nausea Relief

On Sept. 14, the FDA gave the Scottish company ProStrakan approval to sell its Sancuso patch in the United States, reports the BBC. Sancuso is the first anti-nausea patch approved for use with chemotherapy patients, and it could have a wide market. According to the Associated Press (AP), approximately 1 million people receive chemotherapy each year, and up to 70 percent suffer from nausea.

The patch, which patients wear on their arm, provides a steady supply of anti-nausea medication through the skin for up to five days. It could be especially useful for patients who have trouble swallowing. For others, it represents a chance to simply have a better day.

“I couldn’t leave the house for very much because of the fact that I was so sick,” Melvin Hren told the AP. “As a result of the patch, I was able to leave the house and be with the family. I was able to enjoy life a little bit. Without it, life would have been a lot more difficult.”

The AP reported that Sancuso may be available to the public by the end of the year. The main side effect of the drug is constipation, and it could potentially hide a bowel obstruction, which is a condition “requiring prompt treatment.” 

ProStrakan is also hoping to gain approval to sell Sancuso in Europe.

Related Topic: Is a cancer cure impossible?

Reference: Cancer resources


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