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Zofran Side Effects

Although most people tolerate Zofran well, there are some potential side effects of the medication. In many cases, side effects of Zofran are minor and may be easily treated by you or your healthcare provider. Some of the most common side effects include headaches, fatigue, and constipation. There are also several problems that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider, such as chest pain, an unexplained skin rash, or tremors.

Zofran Side Effects: An Introduction

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Zofran® (ondansetron hydrochloride). However, not everyone who takes this drug will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it well. When people do develop side effects, in most cases they are minor, meaning they require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(The side effects discussed below are not a complete list of side effects reported with this drug. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Zofran side effects with you.)

Common Side Effects of Zofran

Zofran has been thoroughly studied in clinical trials, with many people having been evaluated. In these studies, side effects occurring in the group of people taking the drug are always documented and are then compared to the side effects that occur in a similar group of people not taking the medicine.
Based on these studies, the most common side effects of Zofran include:
  • Headache -- occurring in up to 27 percent of people
  • Tiredness (fatigue) or a general ill feeling -- in up to 13 percent
  • Constipation -- in up to 9 percent (see Zofran and Constipation)
  • Low oxygen levels (when used for surgery) -- in up to 9 percent
  • Fever -- in up to 8 percent
  • Diarrhea -- in up to 7 percent
  • Gynecological disorders (problems with the female reproductive system) -- in up to 7 percent
  • Anxiety or agitation -- in up to 6 percent
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder (urinary retention) -- in up to 5 percent
  • Itching -- in up to 5 percent
  • Dizziness -- in up to 5 percent.
Zofran works by blocking serotonin receptors. Serotonin is a chemical that is also important in depression. However, Zofran works on different receptors than for depression, which explains why depression is not a side effect of Zofran.
(Click Zofran and Depression for more information about the relationship between Zofran and depression.)
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