Zofran is a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist that is used to treat nausea and vomiting that is often induced by chemotherapy treatment. Zofran affects the central and peripheral nerves and reduces the activity of the vagus nerve. While there is no conclusive study on the effects it has on pregnant women, Zofran is also used to treat Hyperemesis gravidarum; a complication in pregnancy that causes nausea and vomiting. Because Zofran blocks the 5-HT3 receptor in the enteric nervous system, it has been found to positively affect those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea.
Zofran has been increasing in popularity over the past few years due to the lack of other medications available for the treatment for these conditions. Even with a suggested increased risk of cleft palate, heart conditions and tachycardia, it still remains widely used due to lack of alternative medications. However, many new studies are coming out that are easing the worries of pregnant women who take Zofran.
In 2006, a double blind, randomized controlled trial was held, that indicated Zofran may help in the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, and patients with early-onset alcoholism had fewer drinks per day. Patients with LL genotype showed much higher improvements than those with other genotypes. The Stanford University School of Medicine has shown that Zofran can be used to help curb opiate addiction and help treat the symptoms associated with opiate use. It is unique compared to the current treatments for opiate withdrawal symptoms as Zofran is not itself an opiate.
Zofran is a drug with very few side effects. Headache, dizziness and constipation are the most common side effects associated with its use. Serious side effects of this medication include blurred vision or temporary vision loss (lasting from only a few minutes to several hours), slow heart rate, trouble breathing, anxiety, agitation, shivering, feeling like you might pass out and urinating less than usual or not at all. The FDA has issued a Medwatch Safety Alert in patients with Long QT Syndrome, a heart arrhythmia, and the 32-mg dose has been pulled from shelves by the FDA due to concerns about cardiac issues.
Zofran should not be used if you are allergic to ondansetron, or if you are already taking apomorphine. It is still unknown if Zofran passes through breast milk, or if it could possibly cause harm to a breastfeeding baby. Zofran should never be given to a child under the age of four years old. Zofran may also impair your thinking and reactions. It is best to see how the drug affects you before operating a motor vehicle. Overdose symptoms may include sudden loss of vision, severe constipation, feeling light-headed, or fainting.
Zofran may be used up to three times a day following chemotherapy treatment. In order to prevent nausea from chemotherapy treatment, this medication should be taken one to two hours before treatment. To prevent nausea after surgery, this medication should be taken orally, one hour before surgery. Use a special measuring spoon if you are using the liquid form of Zofran. This medication should be used around the same time each day.