Zofran is a trademark of Ondansetron, which is prescribed for the treatment or prevention of nausea and vomiting.
Zofran blocks serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that can contribute to nausea and vomiting.
It belongs to a class of drugs called serotonin 5-HT3 receptor antagonists. These drugs are antiemetics, which means that they block nausea and vomiting.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Ondansetron in 1992 under the Zofran trademark for GlaxoSmithKline.
In 2007, the FDA approved generic Ondansetron for several pharmaceutical companies.
One form of Ondansetron is a rapidly dissolving tablet (Zofran ODT).
You should not take Zofran if you are taking a drug called apomorphine, which is an injectable drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease. The combination of apomorphine and Ondansetron can cause dangerously low blood pressure.
You also should not use Zofran if you have an allergic reaction to another 5-HT3 serotonin receptor antagonist. Brand names include Lotronex, Anzemet, Kytril and Aloxi.
In 2011, the FDA issued a warning that Ondansetron could increase the risk of abnormal changes in cardiac activity.
These changes can cause serious abnormal heart rhythms.
If you have phenylketonuria (PKU), you should know that taking rapidly dissolving Ondansetron tablet form (Zofran ODT) can increase your phenylalanine level, which can be dangerous for you.
If you have certain health conditions, you need to exercise caution when taking ODC. Tell your doctor if you have:
- Inherited phenyketonuria, PKU
- Heart rhythm problems, including congenital long-term QT syndrome
- History of congestive heart failure
- Low magnesium or low potassium
- Liver disease
Zofran and pregnancy
There is some evidence that Zofran can be dangerous for admission during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects.
In addition, Zofran has never been approved for the treatment of morning sickness in pregnant women.
Despite this, in 2012 GlaxoSmithKline pleaded guilty to illegally encouraging the use of Zofran to prevent morning sickness and paid a fine of $ 3 billion.
Studies continue to be at risk of birth defects when Zofran is taken by pregnant women. According to information about the appointment of Zofran, “this drug should be used during pregnancy, only if it is clearly necessary.”
Be sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant or nursing before taking Zofran. In addition, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or are about to breast-feed while taking Zofran.
Side Effects of Zofran
The most common side effects of Ondansetron are:
Serious side effects can occur. If you have any of these side effects, call your doctor immediately:
- Temporary blurred vision or loss of vision
- Severe rash, urticaria or rash that causes blisters and scaling
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine
- Thoracic pain
- Loss of consciousness
- Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or other parts of the body
- Difficulty breathing, swallowing, or talking
Some drugs can interfere with the work of Zofran, and Ondansetron can affect other medicines that you take.
It is very important that your doctor knows about all the medicines that you take, including over-the-counter medicines, as well as any herbs or supplements.
Drugs that are known to interact with Zofran and can cause problems include:
- Other antagonists of serotonin 5-HT3, including Lotronex, Anzemet, Kytril and Aloxi
- Some antibiotics, such as clarithromycin (Biaxin, Prevpac) and erythromycin (EES, Erythrocin)
- Medications for the treatment of irregular heartbeat, such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), disopyramide (Norpace), dofetilide (Tikosyn) and others
- Beta-blockers or drugs used to slow heart rate, such as acebutolol (Sectral), atenolol (Tenormin), bisoprolol (Zebeta) and others
- Tramadol for the treatment of pain (Ultram, in Ultracet)
- Some antiseptic drugs, such as phenytoin (Dilantin)
- Some antipsychotics, including thioridazine (Mellaril), haloperidol (Haldol), and mesoridazine (Serentil)
- Some drugs used to treat depression, including venlafaxine (Effexor) and amitriptyline (Elavil)
Dosage of Zofran
Your dose of Zofran will depend on your condition. Zofran is supplied in the form of 4- and 8-milligram tablets.
Zofran ODT is supplied in 4 and 8 mg tablets. Zofran is also supplied in liquid form.
To treat or prevent nausea or vomiting, you usually take the pill 30 minutes before the chemotherapy, one or two hours before the radiation therapy and one hour before the surgery.
You may need additional doses up to three times a day during treatment or within a few days after cancer treatment.
- For chemotherapy, a typical adult dose of Zofran can be from 16 to 24 mg per day.
- For radiation therapy, the typical adult dose of Zofran is 24 mg per day.
- To prevent nausea and vomiting after surgery, a typical adult dose of Zofran is 16 mg before surgery.
Overdose by Zofran
Symptoms of overdose can occur if you take 10 times the usual daily dose.
Symptoms of Zofran overdose may include:
- Sudden and temporary blindness
- Severe constipation
If you or someone has serious symptoms after an overdose, call 03.
Missed dose of Zofran
You should take Zofran only as directed by your doctor.
To properly take Zofran ODT, be sure to carefully open the packaging. Do not push the pill through the foil. Make sure your hands are dry.
If you miss a dose of Zofran, take it as soon as you remember.
If it’s time for the next dose, skip it. Do not double your dose to make up for the missed one.