Cancer Home > Zofran and Depression

There are several potential side effects of taking Zofran, and depression does not appear to be one of them. During clinical studies documenting the side effects of Zofran, depression was not reported as either a common or a rare side effect. However, depression is common in the general population and in people diagnosed with cancer. Therefore, it is important to recognize the signs of depression, including feelings of hopelessness, thoughts of death, and irritability.

Is Depression a Zofran Side Effect?

There are a number of possible side effects with Zofran® (ondansetron hydrochloride). However, depression does not appear to be one of them. This data comes from clinical trials where Zofran was extensively studied and side effects were documented.
Serotonin is an important brain chemical related to depression. Although Zofran works by blocking serotonin receptors, Zofran does not have an effect on depression. This is because Zofran works on different receptors than the ones involved with depression.

Understanding Clinical Studies

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 side effects that occur in more than 1 percent of people and those that occur in less than 1 percent of people. Depression was not reported as either a common or rare side effect with Zofran during these studies.
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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