Health Guide
Drug Guide

Ondansetron (Oral route, oromucosal route)

Pronunciation:

on-DAN-se-tron

Brand Names:

Dosage Forms:

Classifications:

Therapeutic

Antiemetic

Pharmacologic

Serotonin Receptor Antagonist, 5-HT3

Uses of This Medicine:

Ondansetron is used to prevent nausea and vomiting that is caused by cancer medicines (chemotherapy) or radiation therapy. It is also used to prevent nausea and vomiting that may occur after surgery. Ondansetron works in the stomach to block the signals to the brain that cause nausea and vomiting.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of ondansetron in children younger than 4 years of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Older adults

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of ondansetron in the elderly.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersBAnimal studies have revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus, however, there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR animal studies have shown an adverse effect, but adequate studies in pregnant women have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus.

Breast-feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Other medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Other interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following is usually not recommended, but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use this medicine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

Proper Use of This Medicine:

Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.

To use the oral disintegrating tablet:

To use the oral soluble film:

If you vomit within 30 minutes after using this medicine, take the same amount of medicine again. If vomiting continues, check with your doctor.

This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

If you miss a dose of this medicine, and you feel nauseated or you vomit, take the missed dose as soon as possible.

Storage

Keep the medicine in the foil pouch until you are ready to use it. Store at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. Do not freeze.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep the unused soluble film in the foil pouch until you ready to use it.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

Check with your doctor if severe nausea and vomiting continue after leaving the hospital or cancer treatment center.

Do not use this medicine if you are receiving apomorphine (Apokyn®). Using these medicines together may increase risk for more serious problems.

This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, hoarseness, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth while you are using this medicine.

Contact your doctor right away if you have any changes to your heart rhythm. You might feel dizzy or faint, or you might have a fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat. Make sure your doctor knows if you or anyone in your family has ever had a heart rhythm problem such as QT prolongation.

Check with your doctor right away if you start to have pain or swelling in your stomach area. These may be signs of a serious stomach or bowel problem.

This medicine may make you dizzy. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
Confusion
dizziness
fast heartbeat
fever
headache
shortness of breath
weakness
Less common
Decrease in the frequency of urination
decrease in the urine volume
difficulty with passing urine (dribbling)
painful urination
Rare
Arm, back, or jaw pain
chest pain or discomfort
chest tightness or heaviness
convulsions
cough
decreased urine
difficulty with breathing
difficulty with swallowing
dry mouth
fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
increased thirst
loss of appetite
loss of bladder control
loss of consciousness
mood changes
muscle pain or cramps
nausea or vomiting
noisy breathing
numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
skin rash, hives, or itching
sweating
tightness in the chest
total body jerking
unusual tiredness or weakness
wheezing
Incidence not known
Blurred vision
dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
fixed position of the eye
heart stops
hoarseness
inability to move the eyes
increased blinking or spasms of the eyelid
large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
no breathing
no pulse or blood pressure
noisy breathing
pounding heartbeat
slow or irregular breathing
sticking out of the tongue
sweating
trouble with speaking
unconscious
uncontrolled twisting movements of the neck, trunk, arms, or legs
unusual facial expressions

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
Anxiety
difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
dry mouth
general feeling of discomfort or illness
hyperventilation
irritability
restlessness
shaking
trouble sleeping
Rare
Difficulty with speaking
drooling
loss of balance control
muscle trembling, jerking, or stiffness
shuffling walk
stiffness of the limbs
twisting movements of the body
uncontrolled movements, especially of the face, neck, and back
Incidence not known
Feeling of warmth
hiccups
redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
redness of the skin
welts

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 9/15/2016

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