ondansetron (Zofran, Zofran ODT, Zuplenz)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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What is ondansetron oral disintegrating tablet, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Ondansetron is an anti-nausea medication most often used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. Chemotherapy agents increase secretion of serotonin which stimulates serotonin (5-HT3) receptors in the brain, causing nausea and vomiting. Ondansetron works by selectively blocking serotonin (5-HT3) receptors, reducing the effect of increased serotonin due to chemotherapy. The FDA approved ondansetron in December 1992.

What brand names are available for ondansetron oral disintegrating tablet?

Zofran, Zofran ODT, Zuplenz

Is ondansetron oral disintegrating tablet available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for ondansetron oral disintegrating tablet?

Yes

What are the side effects of ondansetron oral disintegrating tablet?

Side effects of ondansetron are

Some individuals may develop abnormal heart rate and rhythm.

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What is the dosage for ondansetron oral disintegrating tablet?

Dosing for adults

  • Highly nauseating chemotherapy: 24 mg orally dissolved on tongue 30 minute prior to start of a single-day chemotherapy.
  • Moderately nauseating chemotherapy: Take 8 mg tablet 30 minute prior to chemotherapy and repeated in 8 hours, then 8 mg every 12 hours for 1 to 2 days after chemotherapy.
  • Radiation-induced nausea and vomiting: Take 8 mg orally 1 to 2 hours prior to radiation and every 8 hours after first dose, as needed.
  • Post-surgery nausea and vomiting: 16 mg orally 1 hour before anesthesia.

Dosing for children

  • Moderately nauseating chemotherapy (12 years and older) : 8 mg orally prior to chemotherapy and repeated in 8 hours, then 8 mg every 12 hours for 1 to 2 days after chemotherapy.
  • Moderately nauseating chemotherapy (4 to 11 years): 4 mg orally 30 minute prior to chemotherapy and repeated in 4 and 8 hours after the first dose, then every 8 hours for 1 to 2 days after chemotherapy.
  • Not recommended for children under 4 years old.

Which drugs or supplements interact with ondansetron oral disintegrating tablet?

: Ondansetron and apomorphine should not be used together due to sudden lowering in blood pressure and loss of consciousness.

Phenytoin, carbamazepine, and rifampin can increase ondansetron elimination and decrease blood levels, possibly lowering the effects of ondansetron.

Dronedarone can increase blood levels of ondansetron by reducing its breakdown in the liver. This may increase side effects of ondansetron. This combination may also increase the risk of abnormal heart beats.

Is ondansetron oral disintegrating tablet safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies of ondansetron in pregnant women to determine its safe and effective use during pregnancy.

It is not known whether ondansetron enters breast milk; therefore, it is best to be cautious before using it in nursing mothers.

What else should I know about ondansetron oral disintegrating tablet?

What preparations of ondansetron oral disintegrating tablet are available?

Tablets (ODT): 4, 8 mg; Oral Film: 4, 8 mg; Tablet: 4, 8, 24 mg; Solution: 4 mg/5 ml. Injectable; 2 mg/ml

How should I keep ondansetron oral disintegrating tablet stored?

Store ondansetron between 2 C and 30 C (36 and 86 F).

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information

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Summary

Ondansetron, orally disintegrating tablet (Zofran, Zofran ODT, Zuplenz) is a medication prescribed to prevent vomiting and nausea caused by chemotherapy, a cancer treatment. It is also prescribed to prevent vomiting and nausea after surgery. Side effects, drug interactions, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.

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Reviewed on 7/21/2015
References
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information

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