Cancer Home > Zuplenz Warnings and Precautions

Although it is considered an effective medication for many people, Zuplenz can cause problems. For instance, using this medicine may cause severe allergic reactions and may cause changes in heart rhythm. Other warnings and precautions with Zuplenz involve things like possible drug interactions and the potential risks of taking this medication if you are breastfeeding.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Zuplenz™ (Ondansetron Oral Soluble Film) if you have:
  • Liver problems, including cirrhosis
  • An arrhythmia (an irregular heart rhythm), especially long QT syndrome
  • Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you:
  • Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant.
  • Are breastfeeding.
  • Have severe or constant nausea or vomiting that does not improve with Zuplenz. Also, talk with your healthcare provider if you are vomiting blood.
  • Have severe vomiting and diarrhea. This combination of problems can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.
It's important to also tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Precautions and Warnings for Zuplenz

Some Zuplenz warnings and precautions to be aware of include:
  • Rarely, Zuplenz can cause changes in heart rhythm, including a specific type of arrhythmia called QT prolongation. People with long QT syndrome should not take Zuplenz.
  • In rare cases, Zuplenz can cause severe allergic reactions. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop any signs or symptoms of such a reaction, such as:
    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Wheezing or other difficulty breathing
    • Swelling of the mouth, lips, or throat.
  • Zuplenz can interact with certain medications (see Zuplenz Drug Interactions).
  • Zuplenz can cause changes in heart rhythm, including a specific type of arrhythmia called QT prolongation. People with long QT syndrome should not take Zuplenz. People taking certain other medications, people with certain electrolyte imbalances, and people with heart disease may also be at an increased risk for QT prolongation with this drug.
  • Zuplenz is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that this medication is probably safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown (see Zuplenz and Pregnancy for more information).
  • It is not known if Zuplenz passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, make sure to talk with your healthcare provider about the potential risks and benefits (see Zuplenz and Breastfeeding for more information).
  • Zuplenz does not increase the activity or movement of the gastrointestinal tract and should not be used for this purpose. Using this medicine after abdominal surgery or chemotherapy may mask the symptoms of an intestinal blockage (abdominal ileus). Talk to your healthcare provider right away if you are severely constipated or have abdominal cramping or bloating, as this may be a sign of intestinal blockage.
  • For people with poor liver function, a lower Zuplenz dosage is typically recommended. The maximum dose of this medication for people with severe liver problems is 8 mg per day.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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