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A healthcare provider may prescribe Zofran to prevent nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy for cancer, or surgery. The drug works by blocking your body's production of serotonin, which is associated with nausea and vomiting. Zofran comes in several forms, and your dose will depend on factors such as your age and the medical condition being treated. Potential side effects include headaches, fatigue, and constipation.

What Is Zofran?

Zofran® (ondansetron hydrochloride) is a prescription medicine that has been licensed to prevent nausea and vomiting due to several causes.

Who Makes It?

Zofran is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.

What Is Zofran Used For?

Uses of Zofran include preventing the following:
  • Nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy
  • Nausea and vomiting due to radiation therapy for cancer
  • Postoperative nausea and vomiting that can occur after surgery.
The medication is not intended to treat nausea or vomiting that is already occurring.
(Click Zofran Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

How Does It Work?

Nausea (upset stomach) and vomiting are complex processes involving many chemicals in the body and several parts of the body, including the brain and the small intestine. It is likely that Zofran works in the small intestine, but it may also work in the brain. The medication blocks serotonin, a chemical produced by the body that is associated with nausea and vomiting. Serotonin has many effects in the body and has several receptors where it can bind. Zofran blocks serotonin at a specific type of receptor (the 5-HT3 receptor).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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