Generic Name: ondansetron (on-DAN-se-tron)
Brand Name: Zofran
Ondansetron is used for:
Preventing nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy or surgery. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Ondansetron is a serotonin 5-HT3 receptor blocker. It works by blocking a chemical thought to be a cause of nausea and vomiting in certain situations (eg, chemotherapy).
Do NOT use ondansetron if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in ondansetron
- you have a certain type of irregular heartbeat (congenital long QT syndrome)
- you are taking apomorphine
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using ondansetron:
Some medical conditions may interact with ondansetron. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have had an allergic reaction to another serotonin 5-HT3 receptor blocker (eg, dolasetron, granisetron)
- if you have liver problems, heart problems (eg, congestive heart failure, slow or irregular heartbeat), electrolyte problems (eg, low potassium or magnesium levels), poor nutrition (eg, eating disorder, extreme diet), diabetes, nerve problems, or recent brain problems (eg, stroke, injury)
- if a member of your family has a history of congenital long QT syndrome or sudden cardiac death at younger than 50 years old
- if you take any medicine that may increase the risk of a certain type of irregular heartbeat (prolonged QT interval). Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure if any of your medicines may increase the risk of this type of irregular heartbeat
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with ondansetron. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Many prescription and nonprescription medicines (eg, used for breathing problems, cancer, chest pain, depression or other mental or mood problems, fluid retention, high blood pressure, immune system suppression, infections, irregular heartbeat, nausea or vomiting, pain, sleep problems, stomach or bowel problems, swelling, Tourette syndrome), multivitamin products, or herbal or dietary supplements (eg, St. John's wort) because they may interact with ondansetron. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure if any of your medicines might interact with ondansetron
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if ondansetron may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use ondansetron:
Use ondansetron as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Ondansetron is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using ondansetron at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use ondansetron. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
- Do not use ondansetron if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
- Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
- It is important that ondansetron be given as directed to prevent nausea and vomiting. If you forget to use a dose of ondansetron, use it when you remember as directed by your doctor. If you are not sure what to do, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use ondansetron.
Important safety information:
- Ondansetron may cause drowsiness or dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use ondansetron with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Serotonin syndrome is a possibly fatal syndrome that can be caused by ondansetron. Your risk may be greater if you take ondansetron with certain other medicines (eg, certain medicines used to treat depression, pain, migraines). Symptoms may include agitation; confusion; hallucinations; coma; fever; fast or irregular heartbeat; tremor; excessive sweating; and nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Contact your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms.
- Use ondansetron with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using ondansetron while you are pregnant. It is not known if ondansetron is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use ondansetron, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of ondansetron:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Constipation; drowsiness; headache; irritation, redness, pain, or burning at the site of injection; tiredness.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, throat, or tongue; wheezing; unusual hoarseness); abnormal thinking; agitation; chest pain; coma; confusion; diarrhea; dizziness or light-headedness; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; fever; hallucinations; nausea or vomiting that is new or worse; seizures; skin tingling or numbness; stiff muscles; stomach pain; sweating; tremor; trouble urinating; uncontrollable or involuntary muscle movements; vision changes (including sudden temporary blindness).
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.Proper storage of ondansetron:
Ondansetron is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using ondansetron at home, store ondansetron as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep ondansetron out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about ondansetron, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Ondansetron is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take ondansetron or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about ondansetron. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to ondansetron. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using ondansetron.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
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