display | more...

Ondansetron, also known as Zofran, is an anti-emetic drug - that is, a drug used to prevent vomiting and nausea. It, and related drugs like granisetron, is often used to combat the side effects of nausea-inducing drugs such as bleomycin, cisplatin and the antifungal amphotericin B, but may also be used to prevent nausea associated with certain illnesses or surgical anesthesia. Ondansetron itself has few side effects most of the time, but may occasionally cause headaches or constipation.

It is available in either an oral form (pills) or as an intravenous injection. The oral form is more often used to treat chronic nausea, while the IV form is used as pre-medication prior to anesthesia, infusions of anticancer drugs or amphotericin B. This sort of pre-medication prevents or reduces the otherwise rather traumatic vomiting attacks that these drugs can induce.

While ondansetron is considered by some to be a wonder drug, its extreme expense (upward of 40USD/dose) makes it less likely to be prescribed than some older antinauseants like Phenergan, Ativan and Reglan, which have negative side effects.

Zofran (ondansetron) is now available as a generic, reducing the cost (depending on your pharmacy) to more like $2.- per pill.  Shop around and compare.  Some pharmacies still charge huge amounts.  Also, make sure your doctor signs on the "substitution allowed" line on the prescription (otherwise the pharmacy has to give and charge you for the brand name).

Zofran is now also available as an oral disintegrating tablet (ODT).  This is fabulous, since when you are nauseated and vomiting, trying to swallow something and keep it down long enough to work is tough.  Oral disintegrating tablets, as the name indicates, simply dissolve once they hit the tongue.  No swallowing is necessary; the ondansetron is absorbed through the oral mucosa.  This means that even if you throw up immediately after taking one of these, the medication is still in your system and can go to work.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.