Ondansetron hydrochloride

Brand names: Zofran ODT, Zofran

Why is Ondansetron hydrochloride prescribed?

Zofran is used for the prevention of nausea and vomiting caused by radiation therapy and chemotherapy for cancer, and, in some cases, to prevent these problems following surgery.

Most important fact about Ondansetron hydrochloride

To ensure the maximum effect, it is important to take all doses of Zofran exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

How should you take Ondansetron hydrochloride?

Your doctor will tell you how much drug to take and how often, depending on the type of therapy you will be having.

Zofran is available in three forms: an oral solution, tablets that you swallow with water, and orally disintegrating tablets that can be swallowed with saliva alone (Zofran ODT). If you're taking the orally disintegrating tablets, don't remove them from the blister pack until it's time for a dose. Then peel off the foil backing with dry hands, gently remove the tablet, and immediately place it on your tongue. Do not attempt to push the tablets through the foil.

  • If you miss a dose...Take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember.
  • Storage instructions...Store Zofran at room temperature. Protect from light. Keep the drug in the carton it came in. Store oral solution bottles upright.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Zofran.

  • Side effects may include:Blurred vision, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue, headache
  • When Zofran is used to prevent nausea and vomiting after surgery, the following side effects may occur:Anxiety, difficulty breathing, difficulty urinating, dizziness, drowsiness, female reproductive disorders, fever, headache, itching, low blood pressure, shivers, slow heartbeat

Why should Ondansetron hydrochloride not be prescribed?

If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to ondansetron hydrochloride, you should not take Ondansetron hydrochloride. Make sure that your doctor is aware of any drug reactions that you have experienced.

Special warnings about Ondansetron hydrochloride

If drugs similar to Zofran have given you a reaction, Zofran may cause one too.

If you suffer from phenylketonuria (an excess of the amino acid phenylalanine) remember that Zofran contains this substance.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Ondansetron hydrochloride

No interactions with Zofran have been reported.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

The effects of Zofran during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Zofran may appear in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If Ondansetron hydrochloride is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment with Ondansetron hydrochloride is finished.

Recommended dosage for Ondansetron hydrochloride

Dosage is the same for both regular and orally disintegrating tablets. If you have poor liver function, you should take no more than 8 milligrams of Zofran per day.

PREVENTION OF NAUSEA AND VOMITING DUE TO CHEMOTHERAPY

Adults and Children 12 Years of Age and Older

The recommended dose of Zofran is one 8-milligram tablet or 2 teaspoonfuls of oral solution taken twice a day. The first dose should be taken 30 minutes before the start of treatment. The other dose should be taken 8 hours after the first dose. One 8-milligram tablet or 2 teaspoonfuls should be taken twice a day (every 12 hours) for 1 to 2 days after completing chemotherapy.

If the chemotherapy is especially likely to cause nausea and vomiting, the recommended dosage is one 24-milligram tablet taken 30 minutes before the treatment.

Children 4 through 11 Years of Age

The recommended dose of Zofran is one 4-milligram tablet or 1 teaspoonful of oral solution taken 3 times a day. The first dose should be taken 30 minutes before the start of chemotherapy. The other 2 doses should be taken 4 and 8 hours after the first dose. One 4-milligram tablet or 1 teaspoonful should be taken 3 times a day (every 8 hours) for 1 to 2 days after completing chemotherapy.

PREVENTION OF NAUSEA AND VOMITING DUE TO RADIATION THERAPY

Adults

The usual dosage is one 8-milligram tablet or 2 teaspoonfuls of oral solution taken 3 times a day. You will take the first dose 1 to 2 hours before therapy; the other intervals will depend on the type of radiation therapy you are receiving.

Children

Zofran has not been used for this purpose in children.

PREVENTION OF NAUSEA AND VOMITING AFTER SURGERY

Adults

The usual dose is two 8-milligram tablets or 4 teaspoonfuls of oral solution taken 1 hour before undergoing anesthesia.

Children

Zofran has not been used for this purpose in children.

Overdosage

Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Symptoms of Zofran overdose may include:Low blood pressure and fainting, sudden blindness, severe constipation
  • Ondansetron Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • ondansetron Oral, Injection, Intravenous Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Ondansetron MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Zofran Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Zofran Consumer Overview
  • Zofran ODT Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Zofran ODT Orally Disintegrating Tablets MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)