1 What is Zuplenz?

Brand: Zuplenz, Zuplenz ODT, Zuplenz

Generic: Ondansetron

Zuplenz is an anti-emetic drug, used to treat nausea or vomiting caused by cancer treatment drugs (chemotherapy or radiation therapy) and surgery. This medication inhibits the effect of serotonin, a natural chemical produced by the body that triggers vomiting.

Read your medication guide and follow your doctor’s prescription at all times.

  • Take Zuplenz orally/ by mouth before or after meals, 1- 3 times a day (1- 2 days after chemotherapy or radiation therapy is done) per doctor’s prescription.
  • Take this medication 30 minutes before your treatment starts if you want to prevent nausea during your chemotherapy.
  • If you are using this medication to prevent nausea during radiation therapy, take it 1- 2 hours before your treatment begins.
  • If you are using this medication to prevent nausea after surgery, take it 1 hour before your surgery starts.
  • Make sure to keep your hands dry when handling either the orally disintegrating tablet or the oral soluble film preparation of this medication. Place the drug on top of your tongue and do not chew it. Let this medication melt completely and then you may drink water or any liquid to help you swallow the dissolved medication.
  • Use a standard medicine cup/ spoon (not household spoon) to obtain the accurate amount for each dose if you are using the liquid preparation of this medication.
  • The dosage depends on your medical condition, treatment response or age, and weight (for children). Do not adjust your dose without your doctor’s recommendation.
  • Avoid alcohol intake and activities that require mental alertness (i.e. driving, operating machinery) because this medication can cause dizziness.
  • Continue taking Zuplenz on a regular schedule (same time of the day). Do not stop taking this medication abruptly without consulting your doctor.

Inform your doctor immediately if your condition aggravates or does not improve. Take your missed dose as soon as possible. However, make sure that the time interval between the missed and the next dose is not too close.

Otherwise, stick with the regular schedule and leave out the missed dose. Do not double dose to cover up a missed dose. Record your missed dose and inform your doctor immediately if you missed several doses.

Zuplenz may interact with:

  • Tramadol
  • Arsenic trioxide
  • Tacrolimus
  • Antibiotics (i.e. clarithromycin, erythromycin, levofloxacin, rifampin)
  • Antidepressant medications (i.e. amitriptyline)
  • Anti- malaria drugs (i.e. chloroquine)
  • Medications that affect heart rhythm (i.e. amiodarone, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol)
  • Other anti- emetic drugs (i.e. dolasetron, droperidol)
  • Antipsychotic medications (i.e. chlorpromazine, haloperidol)
  • Sumatriptan
  • Narcotic medications (i.e. methadone) and
  • Anticonvulsant drugs (i.e. carbamazepine, phenytoin)

Some drugs may either lessen the beneficial effects or worsen the side effects of Zuplenz. Likewise, Zuplenz may make some drugs less efficient or intensify their side effects.

Inform your doctor about all other drugs you are currently taking or using including prescribed and non-prescribed medications, vitamins, minerals and herbal products to check for possible drug interaction with Zuplenz.

Never alter the doses of other medications while on Zuplenz neither stop nor start any medicine without the doctor’s recommendation.

Side Effects: There are no side effects known aside from a possible allergic reaction in people who have previous or unknown hypersensitivity to the drug.

Watch out for signs of allergic reactions such as:

  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Swelling

Before taking Zuplenz, tell your health care provider if you have/are:

  • Any allergies to any substance, food or medication, particularly to Zuplenz;
  • Medical history or a present condition such as:
  • Pregnant, planning to get pregnant or currently breastfeeding a baby (Zuplenz has no expected harmful effects to the unborn child band it is unknown if this medication can pass through breast milk that may harm the nursing child. The risks and benefits of using this medication upon pregnancy must be discussed well with your doctor.)