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Is Ondansetron the Antiemetic Drug For You?

Have you recently undergone surgery? Or someone you know underwent chemotherapy? Chances are that the doctor has prescribed a medicine known as Ondansetron. Vomiting and nausea are common after such medical procedures, Ondansetron is given to prevent that.




Let us understand more about Ondansetron

Ondansetron comes from the class of medicines known as antiemetic agents. These medications are used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by medical conditions. Nausea and vomiting can be caused by different medical conditions, therapies, procedures, and medications. Vomiting is often a protective reflex action of the body to expel toxic substances in the stomach. Antiemetic medications suppress this act of vomiting. They are given to prevent dehydration. Vomiting is controlled by the vomiting centre in the brain, which is activated by triggers such as strong smells, thoughts, and motion. Antiemetic agents bind to the receptors in the vomiting centre of the brain stem and block their signalling pathways (that lead to nausea and vomiting), thus reducing the nausea sensation. Antiemetic agents tend to have a calming effect on the brain leading to slight drowsiness.

How Ondansetron works

Ondansetron is an antiemetic and works similarly. It reduces the sensation of nausea and prevents vomiting, by blocking the actions of chemicals that trigger it. Ondansetron blocks the release of a chemical called serotonin present in the gut and the central nervous system. This blockage helps in preventing nausea and vomiting. Ondansetron can be prescribed for the following conditions. The doctor studies the medical condition and based on the knowledge and insights prescribes the drug and the required dosage.

· Prevent Nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation therapy.

· Treat gastroenteritis

· Gastroparesis

· Vertigo-related nausea and vomiting

How to take Ondansetron?

Ondansetron is taken by mouth orally, or by injection into a muscle or a vein.

Ondansetron in the oral form is available as

· A regular tablet (non-disintegrating)

· A rapidly dissolving or disintegrating tablet

· A soluble film

· A liquid (an oral solution) to take by mouth.

The dose differs for each patient. The doctor decides the dosage and the number of doses in a day. In most cases, the timing depends on the purpose Ondansetron is used for.

Take the medicine exactly as per your doctor’s recommendation. In the case of chemotherapy, the first dose is usually taken 30 minutes before the start of the procedure. In the case of radiation therapy, the medicine is taken one or two hours before the start of the process, and it is taken one hour before surgery. The crucial part of the disintegrating tablet is not to crush the tablet. Gently place it on the tip of your tongue and let it dissolve on its own. Gulping down with water is not required. Try not to chew or swallow it whole. The regular tablet can be taken with a glass of water.


Dosage varies for each individual depending upon the medical condition. The dosage can range anywhere from 8mg to 24mg.

In the case of the oral dosage forms (oral disintegrating tablets, solution, or tablets)

For after treatment with cancer medicines, to prevent moderate nausea and vomiting:

· For adults and children 12 years of age and older, the initial dose is 8 milligrams (mg) taken 30 minutes or half an hour before starting cancer treatment. The same 8 milligrams (mg) dose is taken again 8 hours after the first dose. After which the same 8 milligrams (mg) dose is for every 12 hours for 1 to 2 days.

For, after treatment with cancer medicines, to prevent severe nausea and vomiting:

· For adults, the dose for cancer (chemotherapy) treatment is 24 milligrams (mg) or three 8 milligrams (mg) of films to be taken 30 minutes or half an hour before the treatment begins. Each film needs to be dissolved in the tongue before taking the next film.

How is Ondansetron available?

Ondansetron is available as a tablet, film, and solution. It is also available in the injectable form, which is used mainly in hospitals.

You can find it at most chemists with popular brand names as follows

· Ondem, by Alkem Laboratories Ltd

· Vomikind, by Mankind Pharma Ltd

· Emeset, by Cipla Ltd

· Periset, by Ipca Laboratories Ltd

· Zofer, by Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd

· Emigo, by Zuventus Healthcare Ltd

· Emefilm, by Delvin Formulations Pvt Ltd

Side effects associated with Ondansetron

Along with the desired benefits, all drugs also have some side effects or adverse reactions. Most of the time, these reactions tend to get better with time and do not need medical intervention. You can always discuss these side effects with your doctor when you meet.

Common side effects of Ondansetron

· Constipation

· Headache

· Flushing (A feeling of sudden warmth in the neck, face, ears, and trunk area)

· Injection site reactions (like bruises, pain, swelling, or redness)

Some severe side effects include the following

· Hallucinations

· Dizziness

· Loss of balance

· Rapid beating of the heart

· Flushing or unusual sweating

Severe side effects are rare and uncommon. If you experience the above or any other side effects which are not normal or severe, call your doctor immediately and seek medical attention.

Precautions Before taking Ondansetron

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to any specific medicine or have any other allergies. Talk to your doctor about your medical history, especially any cardiac problems like an irregular heartbeat. Ondansetron may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm and may rarely cause severe adverse reactions which may need immediate medical attention. Talk about other conditions if you have had any liver diseases or any stomach problems. Tell your doctor of any recent surgeries you may have had.

How do I know if Ondansetron suits me?

In the past, doctors prescribed a drug and according to the response from the patient, they altered the dosage or changed the drug entirely. Today, with MEDNAwise pharmacogenetic test, it is possible for doctors to know which drug is the most effective for you. Immediate effective treatment with precision is now possible. MEDNAwise is a test to study your genes. Genes are what make you unique, these genes influence the response of your body to drugs. MEDNAwise studies the genes and can predict your specific genetic response to 70+ drugs used in different medical specialties.

It can specifically tell you your response to Ondansetron, thus making it easy to know if it is effective for you. With the MEDNAwise test, it is now easy to get the best-suited drug for your unique self. It can also make you aware of the adverse reactions you may have towards certain medicines. It reduces the chances of a no-response situation, thus providing better and faster treatment.

MEDNAwise also grants peace of mind. With a ready reckoner to 70+ drugs and varied medical specialties, it is easy for doctors to start effective treatment and get the desired results in time. It is a valuable tool for any future medical emergencies too. You can take the MEDNAwise pharmacogenetic test from your house. It is a no-blood test, a simple saliva swab is all you need. Once the results are out, the genetic professionals are ready to assist and counsel with the diet and health plans. The future is now, take the step for better health and life.

Call Indus Health Plus to book your MEDNAWise pharmacogenetic test today!

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