Aprepitant

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Description:
Aprepitant (Emend (US, EU)) is an antiemetic chemical compound that belongs to a class of drugs called substance P antagonists (SPA). It mediates its effect by blocking the neurokinin 1 (NK<sub>1</sub>) receptor.

Aprepitant is manufactured by Merck & Co. under the brand name Emend for prevention of acute and delayed chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) and for prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting. It was approved by the FDA in 2003.

Aprepitant may also be useful in the treatment of cyclic vomiting syndrome but there are few studies to date.

On January 2008, the FDA approved fosaprepitant, an intravenous form of aprepitant, which is to be sold under the tradename Emend Injection in the US and as Ivemend in some other countries.

Initial development

Acute or delayed CINV is an unpleasant side effect experienced by over 80% of patients who undergo initial and repeated highly emetogenic cancer chemotherapy, for example cisplatin. Throughout the 1990s a noticeable increase occurred in the number of diagnosed cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and therefore experiencing CINV. As a result of this, towards the end of the decade initial research was conducted to try to develop a drug that eases the severity and decreases the likelihood of CINV, and after several years of research Merck & Co. successfully developed a drug known as Emend.

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