Zofran

1 What is Zofran?

Brand: Zofran, Zofran ODT, Zuplenz

Generic: Ondansetron

Zofran is an antiemetic drug used for the prevention of nausea and vomiting that is caused by cancer drugs, radiation therapy, or surgery.

This drug works in the stomach by blocking the signals to the brain that cause nausea and vomiting. This drug requires a prescription.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Zofran, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. Inform your healthcare provider for any allergic reactions to these drugs or any other drugs, foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.

Carefully read the label of non-prescription drugs for any possible allergic reaction or contraindications. Studies in children younger than 4 years of age regarding the correlation of age to the effects of ondansetron have not been performed while safety and efficacy have not been established.

Studies in the elderly have not demonstrated any geriatric-specific problems that would limit the utility of ondansetron. Indications of harm to the fetus have not been reported in animal studies but studies in pregnant women or animals are still inadequate.

Infant risk is still undetermined when using this drug during breastfeeding. Discuss with your healthcare professional about the potential risks and benefits of taking this drug while breastfeeding.

Drugs should not be taken together to prevent any interactions but in necessary cases inquire your healthcare provider regarding the adjustments in dosage or any other necessary precautions to prevent any unwanted side effects.

Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking any other drugs such as:

  • Apomorphine
  • Phenytoin
  • Carbamazepine
  • Rifampicin
  • Tramadol
  • Serotonergic drugs

Intake of specific food or using alcohol or tobacco with this drug is associated with an increased risk of certain side effects. Your healthcare professional can give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Inform your healthcare professional if you have any other medical problems such as:

  • allergy to selective 5-HT3 receptor antagonists
  • bowel blockage
  • gastric distension
  • bradyarrhythmia
  • congestive heart failure
  • electrolyte imbalance
  • heart rhythm problems
  • hypomagnesemia
  • phenylketonuria
  • liver disease
Have a question aboutOndansetron (Oral)?Ask a doctor now

3 Proper Usage

To use Zofran properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. Your hands must be dry. The tablet must not be pushed through the foil backing of the package. The foil must be gently peeled back and the tablet must be removed.

The tablet must be placed immediately on top of the tongue. The tablet will dissolve in seconds, and you may swallow it with your saliva. There is no need to drink water or other liquid to swallow the tablet.

Make sure your hands are clean and dry before and after using this drug. The pouch must be folded along the dotted line to expose the tear notch. Tear the pouch carefully along the edge while it is still folded and remove the film out from the pouch.

The soluble film must be placed immediately on top of your tongue where it will dissolve in 4 to 20 seconds. Chewing or swallowing the film whole is not recommended. You may swallow the film with or without water once it has dissolved.

If you vomit within 30 minutes after using this drug, take the same amount of drug again. Check with your healthcare professional if vomiting continues. The dose of this drug will be variable for different patients.

The directions on the label or the prescription by your healthcare professional should be followed. The dosage of this drug you take depends on the medical problem for which you are using this drug.

8 milligrams taken 30 minutes before starting cancer treatment must be given for prevention of moderate nausea and vomiting after treatment with cancer drugs in adults, teenagers, and children 12 years of age. The 8-mg dose is taken again 8 hours after the first dose. Then, the dose is 8 mg every 12 hours for 1 to 2 days.

Children 4 to 11 years of age are initially given 4 mg taken 30 minutes before starting cancer treatment. The 4-mg dose is taken again 4 and 8 hours after the first dose. Then, the dose is 4 mg every 8 hours for 1 to 2 days. Use and dose in children younger than 4 years of age must be determined by your healthcare professional.

One 24-milligram tablet taken 30 minutes before starting cancer treatment must be given for prevention of more severe nausea and vomiting after treatment with cancer drugs in adults, teenagers, and children 12 years of age. Use and dose in children younger than 12 years of age must be determined by your healthcare professional.

8 milligrams taken 1 to 2 hours before radiation treatment must be given for prevention of nausea and vomiting after radiation treatment in adults. Then, the dose is 8 mg every 8 hours. Use and dose in children must be determined by your healthcare professional.

16 milligrams one hour before anesthesia is given for prevention of nausea and vomiting after surgery in adults. Use and dose in children must be determined by your healthcare professional.

One 8-milligram film taken 30 minutes before starting cancer treatment must be given for prevention of moderate nausea and vomiting after treatment with cancer drugs in adults, teenagers, and children 12 years of age. The second 8-mg film is taken 8 hours after the first dose. Then, one 8-mg film is taken two times a day for 1 to 2 days.

Children 4 to 11 years of age are initially given one 4-milligram film taken 30 minutes before starting cancer treatment. The second and third 4-mg films are taken 4 and 8 hours after the first dose. Then, one 4-mg film is taken three times a day for 1 to 2 days. Use and dose in children younger than 4 years of age must be determined by your healthcare professional.

24 milligrams or three 8-mg films taken 30 minutes before starting cancer treatment must be given for prevention of more severe nausea and vomiting after treatment with cancer drugs in adults. Each film should be dissolved in the tongue before taking the next film. Use and dose in children must be determined by your healthcare professional.

One 8-milligram film must be given three times a day to prevent of nausea and vomiting after radiation treatment in adults. Use and dose in children must be determined by your healthcare professional.

16 milligrams or two 8-mg films must be taken 1 hour before anesthesia is given to prevent nausea and vomiting after surgery in adults. Each film should be dissolved in the tongue before taking the next film. Use and dose in children must be determined by your healthcare professional.

A missed dose should be taken as soon as possible. However, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule if it is almost time for your next dose.

Store the drug in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing. Keep out of the reach of children. Dispose any outdated or expired drugs and ask your healthcare professional for the proper disposal of the drugs.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Zofran, there are some precautions you must take. Check with your healthcare professional if severe nausea and vomiting continue after leaving the hospital or cancer treatment center.

Seek immediate medical attention if you have symptoms of anaphylaxis such as rash, itching, hoarseness, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth after you receive the drug.

This drug is contraindicated for use with apomorphine (ApokynВ®) to prevent any serious side effects. Contact your healthcare professional immediately if you have any symptoms of heart rhythm problems, such as fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeats.

Check with your healthcare professional immediately if you have signs of a serious stomach or bowel problem such as pain or swelling in your stomach area. Consult with your healthcare professional before you take any other prescription or nonprescription drugs, and herbal or vitamin supplements.

5 Potential Side Effects

Make sure you meet with your doctor in using Zofran to avoid unwanted potential side effects. Side effects may vary for each individual and prompt medical attention should be given if they occur. 

Seek advice from your healthcare professional immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms such as:

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Pain, redness, or burning at the injection site
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin rash, hives, redness, or itching
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Troubled breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Blurred vision
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Confusion
  • Coughing
  • Decreased or irregular heartbeat
  • Difficulty with breathing or swallowing
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying position
  • Fast, pounding, slow, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Fixed position of the eye
  • Heart stops
  • Hives or welts
  • Hoarseness
  • Inability to move the eyes
  • Increased blinking or spasms of the eyelid
  • Large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • Lightheadedness
  • No breathing, no pulse or blood pressure
  • Noisy breathing
  • Pain in the neck, back, or jaw, slow or irregular breathing
  • Sticking out of the tongue
  • Sweating
  • Swelling of the face, throat, or tongue
  • Trouble with breathing, speaking or swallowing
  • Unconscious uncontrolled twisting movements of the neck, trunk, arms, or legs
  • Unusual facial expressions, weakness, or weakness of the arms and legs

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine, the side effects will slowly disappear. Ask your healthcare professional about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

If any of the following side effects persists or are inconvenient, or if you notice any other effects, or if you have any questions about them, consult with your health care professional. Report any side effects to the FDA hotline at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Top