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Zofran FDA Alerts

The FDA Alert(s) below may be specifically about Zofran or relate to a group or class of drugs which include Zofran (ondansetron).

MedWatch Safety Alerts are distributed by the FDA and published by Drugs.com. Following is a list of possible medication recalls, market withdrawals, alerts and warnings. For the latest FDA MedWatch alerts, go here.

Recent FDA Alert(s) for ondansetron

Metoclopramide Injection And Ondansetron Injection by Hospira: Recall - Glass Strand Particulates Caused By Glass Supplier

Oct 2, 2013

Audience: Pharmacy, Patient, Health Professional

ISSUE: Hospira, Inc. announced it initiated a voluntary nationwide recall of one lot of Metoclopramide Injection, USP, 10 mg/2 mL (5 mg/mL)and two lots of Ondansetron Injection, USP, 4 mg/2 mL, (2 mg/mL). This action is due to a confirmed vial defect where glass particulate matter (glass strands) were identified as being affixed to the inside of the vial walls. There is potential for the glass particulates to dislodge into the solution. To date, Hospira has not received reports of any adverse events associated with this issue for these lots.

BACKGROUND: Metoclopramide Injection, USP, 10 mg/2 mL (5 mg/mL), NDC 0409-3414-01, Lot 28-104-DK (the lot number may be followed by a 01), is packaged in a 2 mL single-dose fliptop vial, with an expiration date of October 1, 2014. Ondansetron Injection, USP, 4 mg/2 mL (2 mg/mL), NDC 0409-4755-03, Lots 29-484-DK and 29-510-DK (the lot numbers may be followed by a 01) are packaged in a 2 mL single-dose fliptop vial, with an expiration date of May 1, 2015. Both products are packaged as 25 units per carton/100 units per case in glass fliptop vials. The affected lots were distributed nationwide between June 2013 and September 2013 to wholesalers/distributors, hospitals and pharmacies. 

The administration of an injectable with the presence of foreign particulates may potentially result in local inflammation, thrombophlebitis, and/or low-level allergic response. Signs and symptoms could include redness, pain, swelling at the site, fever, shortness of breath, tachycardia, nausea and vomiting.  Additionally, the particulate contaminants could potentially act as an emboli and impede blood flow causing tissue/organ damage, especially in vulnerable patients such as those undergoing surgery, immunosuppressed individuals, infants, children and the elderly, as well as patients with micro or macrovascular disease, such as cardiac and renal disease, who may be more at risk since their vasculature, and end organs, are already compromised.  

RECOMMENDATION: Anyone with an existing inventory should stop use and distribution, quarantine the product immediately, and call Stericycle at 1-877-497-3125 between the hours of 8am to 5pm ET, Monday through Friday, to arrange for the return of the product. Replacement product from other lots is available. 

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

[10/01/2013 - Firm Press Release]

Ondansetron (Zofran) 32 mg, Single Intravenous (IV) Dose: Updated Safety Communication – Product Removal due to Potential For Serious Cardiac Risks

Dec 4, 2012

Audience: Oncology, Surgery, Health Professional

ISSUE: FDA is notifying health care professionals that the 32 mg, single intravenous (IV) dose of the anti-nausea drug Zofran (ondansetron hydrochloride) will no longer be marketed because of the potential for serious cardiac risks.

BACKGROUND: The 32 mg, single IV dose of Zofran had been used to prevent chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. A previous Drug Safety Communication (DSC), issued on June 29, 2012, communicated that the 32 mg, single IV dose should be avoided due to the risk of a specific type of irregular heart rhythm called QT interval prolongation, which can lead to Torsades de Pointes, an abnormal, potentially fatal heart rhythm.  These drugs are sold pre-mixed in solutions of either dextrose or sodium chloride in plastic containers.

FDA anticipates these products will be removed from the market through early 2013.  FDA does not anticipate that removal of the 32 mg intravenous dose of ondansetron currently sold as pre-mixed injections will contribute to a drug shortage of IV ondansetron, as the 32 mg dose makes up a very small percentage of the current market

RECOMMENDATION: FDA continues to recommend the intravenous regimen of 0.15 mg/kg administered every 4 hours for three doses to prevent chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Oral dosing of Ondansetron remains effective for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. At this time, there is not enough information available for FDA to recommend an alternative single IV dose regimen.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

[12/04/2012 - Safety Communication - FDA]
[06/29/2012 - Safety Communication - FDA]
[09/15/2011 - Safety Communication - FDA]

Ondansetron (Zofran) IV: Drug Safety Communication - QT prolongation

Jun 29, 2012

Audience: Oncology, Surgery, Gastroenterology

ISSUE: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is informing healthcare professionals and the public that preliminary results from a recently completed clinical study suggest that a 32 mg single intravenous dose of ondansetron (Zofran, ondansetron hydrochloride, and generics) may affect the electrical activity of the heart (QT interval prolongation), which could pre-dispose patients to develop an abnormal and potentially fatal heart rhythm known as Torsades de Pointes.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced changes to the Zofran drug label to remove the 32 mg single intravenous dose. The updated label will state that ondansetron can continue to be used in adults and children with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting at the lower intravenous dose recommended in the drug label, a dose of 0.15 mg/kg administered every 4 hours for three doses; however, no single intravenous dose should exceed 16 mg. Information from the new clinical study will be included in the updated drug label.

BACKGROUND: Zofran (ondansetron) is in a class of medications called 5-HT3 receptor antagonists. It is used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. FDA will evaluate the final study results when available, and will work with GSK to explore an alternative single dose regimen that is both safe and effective for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in adults. 

RECOMMENDATION: The new information on QT prolongation does not change any of the recommended oral dosing regimens for ondansetron.  It also does not change the recommended lower dose intravenous dosing of ondansetron to prevent post-operative nausea and vomiting.

  • The use of a single 32 mg intravenous dose of ondansetron should be avoided.  New information indicates that QT prolongation occurs in a dose-dependent manner, and specifically at a single intravenous dose of 32 mg.
  • Patients who may be at particular risk for QT prolongation with ondansentron are those with congenital long QT syndrome, congestive heart failure, bradyarrhythmias, or patients taking concomitant medications that prolong the QT interval
  • Electrolyte abnormalities (e.g., hypokalemia or hypomagnesemia) should be corrected prior to the infusion of ondansetron.
  • The lower dose intravenous regimen of 0.15 mg/kg every 4 hours for three doses may be used in adults with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. However, no single intravenous dose of ondansetron should exceed 16 mg due to the risk of QT prolongation.
  • The new information does not change any of the recommended oral dosing regimens for ondansetron, including the single oral dose of 24 mg for chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting.


Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of this product to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

 

[06/29/2012 - Drug Safety Communication - FDA]

Zofran (ondansetron): Drug Safety Communication - Risk of Abnormal Heart Rhythms

Sep 15, 2011

Audience: Oncology, Anesthesiology

ISSUE: FDA notified healthcare professionals and patients of an ongoing safety review and labeling changes for the anti-nausea drug Zofran (ondansetron, ondansetron hydrochloride and generics). Ondansetron may increase the risk of developing prolongation of the QT interval of the electrocardiogram, which can lead to an abnormal and potentially fatal heart rhythm, including Torsade de Pointes. Patients at particular risk for developing Torsade de Pointes include those with underlying heart conditions, such as congenital long QT syndrome, those who are predisposed to low levels of potassium and magnesium in the blood, and those taking other medications that lead to QT prolongation.

BACKGROUND: Zofran (ondansetron) is in a class of medications called 5-HT3 receptor antagonists. It is used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. FDA is requiring GlaxoSmithKline to conduct a thorough QT study to determine the degree to which Zofran (ondansetron) may cause QT interval prolongation.

RECOMMENDATION: The labels are being revised to include a warning to avoid use in patients with congenital long QT syndrome because these patients are at particular risk for Torsade. Recommendations for ECG monitoring in patients with electrolyte abnormalities (e.g., hypokalemia or hypomagnesemia), congestive heart failure, bradyarrhythmias, or in patients taking other medications that can lead to QT prolongation, are being included in the labels.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/index.cfm
  • Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178


[09/15/2011 - Drug Safety Communication - FDA]
 

Intravenous Medications Manufactured by Claris: Recall due to contamination of products

May 29, 2010

Audience: Pharmacists, Hospital Risk Managers

Metronidazole, Ciprofloxacin and Ondansetron sold under the Claris, Sagent Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer, and West-Ward Pharmaceuticals labels.

 FDA notified healthcare professionals not to use the intravenous medications, metronidazole, ciprofloxacin and ondansetron manufactured by Claris Lifesciences due to contamination. These products were all manufactured on the same manufacturing line and sold under the Claris, Sagent Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer, and West-Ward Pharmaceuticals labels. The FDA received reports of floating matter in intravenous bags of metronidazole and ondansetron. Foreign matter should not be present in a sterile injectable product. Healthcare professionals should not use these products and should immediately remove them from their pharmacy inventories. Claris is initiating a recall of all lots of these products. FDA is further investigating the situation and will notify the public when new information becomes available.

Please review the linked Public Health Alert for a list of the affected and recalled products.

 

[05/29/2010 - Public Health Alert - FDA]

[06/02/2010 - Firm Press Release - Claris Lifesciences]

 

    

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