A serotonin receptor (5HT-3 selective) antagonist that has been used as an antiemetic and antinauseant for cancer chemotherapy patients.
Kytril is a selective inhibitor of type 3 serotonergic (5-HT3) receptors. Kytril has little or no affinity for other serotonin receptors, including 5-HT 1 , 5-HT 1A , 5-HT 1B/C , or 5-HT 2 ; for alpha 1 -, alpha 2 -, or beta-adrenoreceptors; for dopamine D 2 receptors; for histamine H 1 receptors; for benzodiazepine receptors; for picrotoxin receptors; or for opioid receptors. In most human studies, kytril has had little effect on blood pressure, heart rate, or electrocardiogram (ECG). The drug is structurally and pharmacologically related to ondansetron, another selective inhibitor of 5-HT3 receptors. The serontonin 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. The temporal relationship between the emetogenic action of emetogenic drugs and the release of serotonin, as well as the efficacy of antiemetic agents suggest that chemotherapeutic agents release serotonin from the enterochromaffin cells of the small intestine by causing degenerative changes in the GI tract. The serotonin then stimulates the vagal and splanchnic nerve receptors that project to the medullary vomiting center, as well as the 5-HT3 receptors in the area postrema, thus initiating the vomiting reflex, causing nausea and vomiting.
LD50>2000 mg/kg (rat, oral)