Ondansetron Uses, Mechanism Of Action, Dosage & Side Effects

Ondansetron is a prescription medication that can treat and prevent nausea and vomiting. It helps alleviate negative side effects caused by cancer chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other procedures. In the following 3-minute article, we discuss the uses, mechanism of action, dosage, side effects, and warnings of ondansetron. 

What is Ondansetron? 

Ondansetron is a medication used along with other drugs to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and various surgeries. It belongs to a class of medications known as serotonin 5-HT receptor antagonists. Ondansetron is usually sold as the brand name drugs Zofran and Zuplenz. 

Ondansetron Uses

Ondansetron is used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by cancer medicines, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy. 

Ondansetron Mechanism of Action

Ondansetron belongs to a class of medications called serotonin 5-HT receptor antagonists. These medications work to inhibit serotonin release that can lead to vomiting and nausea. Cells lining the gastrointestinal tract release serotonin when damaged by chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Ondansetron works by preventing serotonin from binding with 5-HT3 receptors in the small intestine. 

Ondansetron Dosage

Ondansetron is available as an oral tablet as an oral solution. The recommended dosage for ondansetron can vary based on a variety of factors including:

  • Your age
  • Your weight
  • Your condition
  • Your response to your first dose

Ondansetron Dosage for Vomiting and Nausea and Treatment With Cancer Medications

Initial Dose: 8mg taken 30 minutes before starting cancer treatment. 

Maintenance Dose: 8mg every 12 hours for 1-2 days. 

Dosage for Vomiting and Nausea After Radiation Treatment

Initial Dose: 8mg 1-2 hours before treatment. Then, 8mg every 8 hours. 

Dosage for Vomiting and Nausea Before Surgery

Initial Dose: 16mg 1 hour before anesthesia is given. 

Ondansetron Side Effects

Ondansetron does have some associated side effects, some of which are more serious than others.

Common Side Effects

Common side effects of ondansetron may include:

  • Headache 
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness
  • Cold sensation
  • Itching

Serious Side Effects 

Some side effects of ondansetron are more serious. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following severe side effects: 

  • Slow heart rate
  • Heart rate irregularities
  • Fainting
  • Heart palpitations
  • Vomiting

Disclaimer: Here at Manifest Pharmacy, our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information.  However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this  information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for  medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare professional who  knows your medical history. 

Ondansetron Warnings

Risk of serotonin toxicity increases if you take ondansetron in conjunction with other drugs that increase serotonin levels. Examples include St. John’s wort, certain antidepressants, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). 

Ondansetron Mechanism Of Action, Uses, Dosage & Side Effects Summary

Ondansetron is a medication that can be useful in preventing nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and various surgeries. It works by preventing serotonin from binding with 5-HT3 receptors in the small intestine. 

Ondansetron

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