Zofran

Pronunciation

Generic Name: ondansetron (oral) (on DAN se tron)
Brand Names: Zofran, Zofran ODT, Zuplenz

What is Zofran?

Zofran (ondansetron) blocks the actions of chemicals in the body that can trigger nausea and vomiting.

Zofran is used to prevent nausea and vomiting that may be caused by surgery or by medicine to treat cancer (chemotherapy or radiation).

Zofran may be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

You should not use Zofran if you are allergic to ondansetron or to similar medicines such as dolasetron (Anzemet), granisetron (Kytril), or palonosetron (Aloxi). Do not take Zofran if you are also using apomorphine (Apokyn).

Before taking Zofran, tell your doctor if you have liver disease, or a personal or family history of Long QT syndrome.

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Zofran orally disintegrating tablets may contain phenylalanine. Tell your doctor if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

The serious side effects of this medication include blurred vision or temporary vision loss (lasting from only a few minutes to several hours), slow heart rate, trouble breathing, anxiety, agitation, shivering, feeling like you might pass out, and urinating less than usual or not at all. Stop taking Zofran and call your doctor at once if you have any of these side effects.

This medicine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Zofran if you are allergic to ondansetron, to similar medicines such as dolasetron (Anzemet), granisetron (Kytril), or palonosetron (Aloxi). Do not take Zofran if you are also using apomorphine (Apokyn).

To make sure you can safely take Zofran, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • liver disease;

  • heart disease, congestive heart failure, a heart rhythm disorder;

  • an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood); or

  • a personal or family history of Long QT syndrome.

FDA pregnancy category B. Zofran is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

It is not known whether ondansetron passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Ondansetron should not be given to a child younger than 4 years old.

Zofran orally disintegrating tablets may contain phenylalanine. Tell your doctor if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

How should I take Zofran?

Take Zofran exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Zofran can be taken with or without food.

Take the Zofran regular tablet with a full glass of water.

To take orally disintegrating tablet (Zofran ODT):

  • Keep the tablet in its blister pack until you are ready to take the medicine. Open the package and peel back the foil from the tablet blister. Do not push a tablet through the foil or you may damage the tablet.

  • Using dry hands, remove the tablet and place it in your mouth. It will begin to dissolve right away.

  • Do not swallow the tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing.

  • Swallow several times as the tablet dissolves. If desired, you may drink liquid to help swallow the dissolved tablet.

Measure the liquid form of Zofran with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Your heart function may need to be tested with an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) on a regular basis. Do not miss any follow-up visits to your doctor.

Store Zofran at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include sudden loss of vision, severe constipation, feeling light-headed, or fainting.

What should I avoid?

Zofran may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Zofran side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Zofran: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • blurred vision or temporary vision loss (lasting from only a few minutes to several hours);

  • severe dizziness, feeling short of breath, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeats;

  • slow heart rate, trouble breathing;

  • anxiety, agitation, shivering;

  • feeling like you might pass out; or

  • urinating less than usual or not at all.

Less serious Zofran side effects may include:

  • diarrhea or constipation;

  • weakness or tired feeling;

  • fever;

  • headache; or

  • dizziness, drowsiness.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Zofran?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • arsenic trioxide (Trisenox);

  • tacrolimus (Prograf);

  • tramadol (Ultram, Ultracet);

  • an antibiotic such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin, Pediazole), levofloxacin (Levaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), pentamidine (NebuPent, Pentam), or rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater);

  • an antidepressant such as amitriptylline (Elavil, Vanatrip, Limbitrol), clomipramine (Anafranil), or desipramine (Norpramin);

  • anti-malaria medications such as chloroquine (Aralen) or mefloquine (Lariam);

  • heart rhythm medicine such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), dofetilide (Tikosyn), disopyramide (Norpace), dronedarone (Multaq), ibutilide (Corvert), procainamide (Procan, Pronestyl), propafenone (Rythmol), quinidine (Quin-G), or sotalol (Betapace);

  • medicine to prevent or treat nausea and vomiting such as dolasetron (Anzemet), droperidol (Inapsine), or ondansetron;

  • medicines to treat psychiatric disorders, such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), clozapine (FazaClo, Clozaril), haloperidol (Haldol), pimozide (Orap), thioridazine (Mellaril), or ziprasidone (Geodon);

  • migraine headache medicine such as sumatriptan (Imitrex, Treximet) or zolmitriptan (Zomig);

  • narcotic medication such as methadone (Methadose, Diskets, Dolophine); or

  • seizure medication such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin), or phenobarbital (Luminal).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Zofran. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Zofran.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 10.01. Revision Date: 2011-10-14, 3:06:56 PM.

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