FDA OKs Tesaro’s Drug for Chemo Side Effects
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved Tesaro Inc.’s Varubi (rolapitant) to prevent delayed phase chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (emesis). Varubi is approved in adults in combination with other drugs (antiemetic agents) that prevent nausea and vomiting associated with initial and repeat courses of vomit-inducing (emetogenic and highly emetogenic) cancer chemotherapy. Tesaro is a biopharmaceutical company based in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Varubi is a substance P/neurokinin-1 (NK-1) receptor antagonist. Activation of NK-1 receptors plays a role in nausea and vomiting induced by certain cancer chemotherapies, particularly in the delayed phase. Varubi is provided to patients in tablet form. Varubi inhibits the CYP2D6 enzyme, which is responsible for metabolizing certain drugs. Varubi is contraindicated with the use of thioridazine, a drug metabolized by the CYP2D6 enzyme, because use of the two drugs together may increase the amount of thioridazine in the blood and cause an abnormal heart rhythm that can be serious.