Cancer Home > Zofran and Constipation

There can be several side effects with Zofran, and constipation appears to be a common one. For people who were taking Zofran while undergoing chemotherapy, constipation was reported in up to 9 percent of people. A similar percentage developed constipation while taking this drug during radiation treatment. However, people who took it before surgery did not appear to have constipation as a side effect of the medication.

Does Zofran Cause Constipation?

There are a number of possible side effects with Zofran® (ondansetron hydrochloride). Constipation appears to be one of the more common ones.

How Common Is Constipation With Zofran?

Before medicines are approved, they must go through several clinical studies where thousands of people are given a particular medicine and are then compared to a group of people not given the medicine. In these studies, side effects are always documented.
As a result, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine. Side effects are then usually separated into those that occur in more than 1 percent of people (common side effects) and those that occur in less than 1 percent of people (rare side effects).
For people undergoing chemotherapy and taking Zofran, constipation was reported in up to 9 percent. A similar percentage of people developed constipation while taking the drug during radiation treatment. On the other hand, constipation does not appear to be a problem in people taking Zofran before surgery.

What to Do If You Experience This Side Effect

If you develop constipation while taking Zofran, talk to your healthcare provider. You can also try making a few dietary and lifestyle changes, such as increasing fiber in your diet or adding bran to your food. Drinking plenty of fluids and getting regular exercise can also contribute to constipation relief.
(Click Constipation Treatment for more recommendations.) 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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