FDA: Zofran May Be DEADLY


Get ready for a “black box” warning on Zofran.

The FDA has just issued a “safety alert” stating that Zofran may now be potentially deadly.

The FDA is now recommending ECG monitoring in patients who receive Zofran who have potential “electrolyte abnormalities (e.g., hypokalemia or hypomagnesemia), congestive heart failure, bradyarrhythmias, or in patients taking other medications that can lead to QT prolongation.”

After all, Zofran has now gone generic like previous anti-nausea medications that have also received black box warnings. The FDA approved Zofran for use in 1991, meaning that Zofran has been on the market for twenty years.

Now, through diligent research, the FDA has decided that that Zofran may cause QT prolongation — just like most of the other anti-nausea medications. As a result, GlaxoSmithKline has been ordered to perform studies to determine whether Zofran could prolong QT intervals, and, if so, to what extent.

Since the FDA states that it has been performing “ongoing safety studies” … for the past twenty years … why doesn’t the FDA actually publish the results of those safety studies that led to the posting of its alarming “safety notice”?

Now we have one less medication in our armamentarium to treat nausea and vomiting.  I suppose we can always give ginger root until that gets a black box warning, too. It’s only been around for a few centuries.

Whoa. I think that my heart just skipped a beat. Reading FDA safety notices may have caused me to have QT prolongation. I think that we need to put black box warnings on FDA safety notices and no one should read them without proper EKG monitoring.

Who do we get to study that?


    • Try the nausea associated with Gastroparesis!! Constant for the past 8 years. lovely. Sometimes the Zofran barely touches it, which is why I was wondering if I can safely take it more than once a day.

  1. This is really scary to me. I was pregnant with twins and took Zofran off and on due to hyperemesis (and, by the way, your offhand remark about “just taking ginger” is spoken like someone who has never experienced extreme all-day sickness and a twin pregnancy). I delivered the babies while in heart failure and was diagnosed with peripartum cardiomyopathy and I can’t help but wonder now if the two are somehow connected.

    • Well peripartum cardiomyopathy was described long before Zofran ever came around. Zofran may cause an abnormal and potentially fatal heart rhythm. That’s different from peripartum cardiomyopathy.

    • creative mommy on

      I too had the extreme nausea early in my pregnancy, I couldn’t hold down the Zofran u swallow or the chewable. In fall of 2009 I was put on a Zofran pump, to give me a constant dosage, it kept me out of the hospital. I never had any issues from Zofran, it helped me be able to hold food and liquids down. I also have a stomach ulcer, normally if I get a bad stomach bug I have to be given Zofran as they have tried several generics on me in many years of my life & since they wouldn’t work, now they just go straight to giving me Zofran. I’ve had a stomach ulcer maybe since 2nd grade but they couldn’t do the precedure (putting camera tube down my throat) but in 7th grade they finally did and found it. I also have a sensitive heart to certain things, especially caffeine. Zofran didn’t give me problems. Oh and before I was prego I believe it was, I was given several samples of little boxes of Zofran chewables. Why, acid reflux. It worked good, so I guess my body just doesn’t have any issues with Zofran.
      Gotta give u props for making it threw with having twins, just one baby alone inside us is hard enough, especially one who gets to 21 1/2inches, he had strong kicks, lol.

    • Abigail Brinegar on

      This happened with me as well!! I actually went into Cardiac Arrest twice giving birth to my son directly after taking Zofran. Seconds after this medicine entered into my system, I died. Was then resuscitated & spent days in the hospital for them to tell me I out of nowhere had a heart disease? Peripartum Cardiomyopathy…
      I don’t know. I will always from now on say I’m allergic to it. I will never take it again.

  2. You have got to be kidding…zofran is the gold standard these days. What are we supposed to use now? Ativan? That might not be such a bad idea…patients less anxious too and easier to deal with.

    • i have been suffering chronic nausea and vomiting for several years now, when i moved to san francisco my new doctor did not like phenergan and changed me to ondansetron or zofran, after only 2 doses i woke up seeing blacked out peripheral vision like looking through two tires, and i stopped them right away because when ever anything happens i don’t expect i research it, i found it has a extreme side effect warning about mixing this with methadone, im surprised my doctor didn’t know about the reaction, anyhow i still suffer vision problems now and they haven’t gone away.

  3. Hmmm…wanna bet that GlaxoSmithKline has a new anti nausea med about to hit the market…Droperidol part 2?

    Give me a break- its safer than tylenol

  4. Whoa. Zofran’s been around for 20 years? I remember getting it about a dozen years ago and it was touted as this very expensive, new wonder drug.

  5. We still have droperidol down under in New Zealand/Australia – never got rid of it when it “black boxed” in the USA. Works better than Zofran in many cases, especially cannabis hyperemesis.

    The big question is what options will remain for vomiting kids if Zofran wafers are removed from use.

  6. What about all those chemo patients who take massive doses of Zofran? Anyone aware of any large number of case reports of any of them dying of SCD?

    • This chemo nurse says (anecdotally) zofran – even at the huge doses given for cancer patients, is, without a doubt, the safest thing out there. (Ask me again after I spend an entire 12 hours chasing patients temporarily altered on ativan, droperidol, or compazine!)
      This is blatantly about something other than patient safety.

    • I was on methotrexate for 8 years and the nausea was sheer hell. Started zofran odt and switched to mtx injections and was better able to control the nausea. Also great for seasickness.

  7. Doesn’t matter that there’s a black box warning. There will be commercials from those hungry lawyers ‘Ever take Zofran? Have palpitations? Call 1-800-we care about you! Life in America.

  8. Yeah, twenty years…it does make you want to scratch your head. I have a former Army comrade who was working for a Pharma company. This guy is freaking brilliant. He worked on many drug research projects.

    His research and findings put him on the opposite side of the FDA and the pharma company in terms of the approval and when he tried to express concerns based on that, they treated him like a criminal and fired him.

    It’s all about the money…Zofran is great stuff. The warnings now are simply to justify all the money they pocket and then waste, period. Some drugs take years to get to market and you don’t think they knew the risks? Oy. Money. That’s it.

    • Lifewiththekids on

      Gotta love the commercials that say, “If you or a loved one took the drug [insert name here] and suffered [insert multiple horrifying symptoms here]… or DEATH, please call the law offices of [insert lawyer’s name here]”
      Um. I’m pretty sure that if I suffer death, I won’t be able to call, so….

    • Daniel Jackson on

      Well you probably never seen your own [rectum] but I’m sure its there. My daughter and my wife are both suffering from the effects of Zofran. My wife was given it all through her pegnancy. Now my daughter is 5 years old and must be home schooled due to the WPW she got from Zofran. My wife meanwhile has chest pains daily and has been told its pleurisy. I wonder who new this all along.

      • Nurse Jackie on

        I promise you, the zofran did not cause WPW-or pleurisy- especially not in a child that wasn’t even born yet.
        That is a genetic channelopathy and the fact that you’re blaming a drug or a doctor that prescribed that drug is obnoxious.
        I’m sorry your wife and child have arrhythmias, but this is not what QT prolonging causes.
        A QT prolongation (which I have seen in small amounts with zofran, I work on a cardiac/electrophysiology unit where we meticulously measure EKG intervals) is a temporary issue that may- MAY- cause you to go into a deadly rhythm.
        It will not alter your hearts conduction system permanently….

    • I gave it to a post pacer implant who arrived in the ED for intractable vomiting. He left the hospital and went home but couldn’t keep his meds to include amiodarone down. He came in dry heaving. 90 minutes passed without being seen by the ED doc so I gave him a dose of Zofran. Worked almost instantly. I was fired a few days later for giving it without an order. The lady doc whom I’d never worked with accused me of practicing medicine. I was a travel nurse and just started at this facility. The patient was very grateful to me however it sucks getting fired from both the hospital and my agency of seven years due to a letter they received from the hospital. I don’t regret helping him as he was suffering and I was more worried his intense vomiting and dehydration was potentially more dangerous than a dose of Zofran. I found a study that said a 12 yr old girl died 4hrs after a dose of Zofran however she was on amiodarone, digoxin and others. Given her comorbidites, I don’t think that was fair to blame it on the Zofran. Anyway that’s why it indicates its contraindication to amiodarone. That was the only Zofran death I could find and it was quite a stretch to connect those dots. The upside is I have not had to set foot in a hospital since that day 3 years ago and I am a nicer and happier because of it. Healthcare has evolved into a kill or be killed work environment. Can’t say I miss it much.

  9. Was more saddened than scard…was on simple phenegren then reglan now zofran due to black box…i have crohns and cancer and it keeps me functionable…will not freak out but get heart checks and continue…why freak out if you get checked out? Stressing will cause more heart issues i would say….feel well friends….

  10. Totally not cool to docs, but my mom gave me her 4 mg tabs she was prescribed for nausea associated with anxiety causing high BP and tachycardia. I was feeling extremely nauseated due to an increase (50 up to 100 mg) Lamictal. Took one Zoltran, still nauseated 30 min later. Took 2 more within another hour. Ended up blacking out eating a salad. Don’t remember it AT ALL. Not drinking alcohol or taking any type of sedative. Scary, but glad it was just salad eating I don’t remember. Any thoughts (other than admonitions against taking someone else’s meds)?

  11. My daughter is a type 1 Diabetic, age 16. She has been diabetic since the age of 3 and just diagnosed with Gastroparesis. The Zofran is the only thing that really helps her. I believe that we are told not to give it to the kids everyday cause insurance won’t pay for it after a while. That’s my take on all of this.

  12. Mother Hubbard on

    Zofran, is now widely prescribed for chemotherapy side effects, severe naseau and vomiting, post-operative, and for the last 13+ years been touted as the new wonder drug for severe hyperemesis (naseau and vomiting) and prescribed during pregnancy via oral tablets ranging from 4-8 mg per dose 2 to 3 times a day.
    Twelve years ago, after being prescribed Zofran for hyperemesis throughout my pregnancy; my daughter was born with “multiple anomalies/abnormalities”. She has since had 10 operations in 12 years of life for hearing loss, ingueno hernia’s, diagphragmatic eventration, webbed toes, hearing tubes, just to mention a few!My daughter initially suffered from a heart murmur, and arterial stenosis for the first five years of her life as well.
    Unfortunately many people are not yet aware of the side effects during pregnancy which are involved. Many patients do not know what to make of their suspicions about “adverse drug reactions”,or even whom to report them to.
    For chemotherapy and leukemia patients (who are generally not pregnant,and some patients who suffer naseau after surgery(post-op patients can and do benefit from long or short term use of the drug for naseau (when necessary) still Zofran should not be prescribed during pregnancy and should medically, legaly, and morally be prescribed to those not carrying fetuses.
    The FDA had investigated GSK for the last several years, for various mediations, hidden negative study related information by the company about various drugs (Avandia),defrauding Medicaid, production of faulty/imitation medications such as Paxil. GSK manufactures Avandia(a Diabetic drug; which was proved to induce heart attacks), Paxil (known to cause birth effects in children of women taking while pregnant), Myodil and Fibrodil medications that GSK has already paid out $ to settle out of court somewhere around $16,000 per patient), Wellbutrin (recently in the news for being pedaled to minors; despite homicidal and suicidal side-effects),Chantix (the stop smoking medication), the Swine Flu vaccine (which was recalled in several states), then lastly you have Zofran the big topic of this blog. While many of you may be skeptical of the recent black-box warning; added to Zofran label, consider this is if GSK was willing to hide negative study findings to the very same entity which govern them, why wouldn’t they hide information from you as well? I’d say swallow at your own risk/benefit but at least know the truth about the “wonder-drug” that works “so well and effectively”…
    @EPDoc, If only it were!: “1-800- we are about you!” because “Life in America” has been extremely hard for my family and I since giving birth to my daughter”! and @joebob “have you or a loved one been given Zofran?” YES!Just because some may not have the same experience,others are not afforded the same pleasure, I personally know of three victims in my state alone, and the four other women which have contacted me from as far as Australia who have children born with the same “abnormalities” already reported to the FDA; after being prescribed Zofran during pregancy.

    • No way all those abnormalities were caused. By zofran, it never has never will, check ur gene pool or just unfortunate mutation

      • Was my thoughts exactly. There has to be some other explanation for all of the abnormalities in her poor little one. Highly unlikely that the Zofran caused all of those. That or my lil’ one I’m carrying now is going to have issues because Zofran is all that helped even a little bit for a couple of weeks.

  13. Mother Hubbard on

    @EPDoc, If only it were!: “1-800- we are about you!” because “Life in America” has been extremey hard for my family and I since giving brth to my daughter”! and @joebob “have you or a loved one been given Zofran?” YES!Just because some may not have the same experience,others are not afforded the same pleasure, I personally know of three victims in my state alone, and the four other women which have contacted me from as far as Australia who have children born with the same “abnormalities” already reported to the FDA; after being prescribed Zofran durig pregancy.

    • Any evidence that this is Zofran induced effects? Everyone always wants to point blame as something. unfortunately sometimes it’s genetics’.

      • don’t use it if you are pregnant. Nausea is horrible but nothing compared to losing your child.my daughter just buried her little angel just shy of 8 mos. she had a heart defect. Zofran? you do the math. but you will never forgive yourself if your child suddenly dies. you will always wonder what if.

  14. There is nothing fun about being nauseated around the clock. Even less fun vomiting. This medicine has been a miracle for me.I’d rather feel halfway decent then worry about possible side effects. So far I’ve experienced nothing but feeling better on this. I will risk it!

  15. Susan Bennett on

    I have taken Zofran on occasion for nausea associated with IBS. I developed that a few years ago, along w/fibromyalgia. I took a drug several years ago that worked great, until they took it off the market…Can’t think of the name of it. It seems like it was around forever…then just gone. When you have a bad day w/IBS, the vomiting just goes on and on, w/me ending up in the ER, so what can I take? When you are that sick, you really lose your mind and don’t care what they give you…Between the severe pain in my stomach, the vomiting, back pain, I don’t care what they do to help me get rid of it…I usually have it quite a while before I finally give in and decide I can’t beat it on my own, then finally go to the ER. I’ve been hospitalized twice w/this for several days, where it just goes on and on…I would love to know about any new medications I could try next time… Thanks, Susan

  16. I’m sorry to hear that this drug has possibly caused birth defects however I have a friend who’s baby was born mostly blind and with a muscle disorder and she was told it was because she was a young mother, she was 19. If you look at most things they have worst possible side affects then what they are treating. Possible being the key word. I took zofran when pregnant with both my girls. I had around the clock vomiting with one of my triggers being the smell of water. Yes, water has a smell. Both my girls are healthy and my oldest starts kindergarten. Now I’m pregnant again and yes I will take zofran again.

    • I was pregnant with my first child in 1985 deathly sick the whole pregnancy,they never offered anything then with my second child in 1993 still sick the whole entire pragnancy nothing offered so i suffered and toughed it out. Now at age 44 with alot of stomach issues in the past 2 months they have prescribed me the zofran and it actually works. I am having my gallbladder removed next week and pray that it fixes the issue? If it doesnt it will be likely that I have terrible nerves and that may be my problem and I just hope they continue to give me the zofran. Although if you can stand it while pregnant dont take it just tough it out its not easy just remember that sweet baby on the way. You can do it.

      • “Just tough it out”??!!! You, blessedly, have NO idea what severe hyperemesis gravidarum is like! Got to helpher.org and get a little information so you can perhaps be a little more compassionate. Just thank your lucky stars that you cannot have empathy for this! I suffered incredibly with HG and the maximum doses of Zofran made it so I could only go in to the hospital every couple days for IV hydration or do home health for hydration instead of being inpatient at the hospital for 8 months of my pregnancy. Even on the max dose of Zofran I was plagued with nausea, but at least I could stay hydrated enough to remain living at home and sustain my pregnancy.. Have you ever been so nauseated that you couldn’t sleep… day after day after day? How about having dry heaves so bad and frequently that you break blood vessels in your eyes and face while your whole body convulses from the uncontrolled wretching that leaves you unable to stand and praying desperately for it to stop long enough for you to breathe because you think you might pass out. Try having your kids watch you go through that and quite literally being flat on the floor or in bed most of the time for months. Have you vomited so much and so often that the enamel on your teeth is being worn away and your teeth hurt so bad to brush after vomiting that you wish they would just fall out and be done with it? Have you been so nauseated, 24 hours a day, for MONTHS on end… like the WORST flu you could ever imagine… that you have lost a good deal of body weight when you are supposed to be gaining, you are chronically dehydrated nearing the point of brain damage, and experiencing muscle wasting (your body is canabalizing itself to keep you alive), and you qualify as temporarily disabled because you are unable to care for your own activities of daily living? These are just some of the things women with HG deal with. If I could have “toughed it out”, I would have. HG is HEINOUS and it can be life-threatening to the mom AND baby! Mom can wind up with brain damage from the chronic dehydration and malnutrition or they can lose the baby from the body trying to preserve itself
        “Tough it out”?!! Let’s see you “tough out” not eating or drinking enough to keep you alive, let alone your baby, and being so nauseated 24/7 for MONTHS on end! Some of us wind up with PTSD from how seriously awful HG is. I understand that you have NO idea of how inconsiderate and offensive your comment could be. I hope you will take the time to educate yourself a little about the topic about which you are giving advice and please, spread the word that HG is not a joke, nor an idea of “mind over matter”, or just “buck up and put on your big girl panties” kind of condion. Would you tell a diabetic to just deal with it? How about a cancer patient? Same thing for women with HG. It is real, it is serious, and it can be really serious for both the mom’s and baby’s health. I, for one, am a hard-core strong woman. It is not that I am wimpy or uncaring/concerned about my baby’s heath! By choice, I toughed out a drug-free natural childbirth with a back/pelvis damaged from a car accident while I was pregnant and our child had a 15.5″ head plus a fist wedged next to it. I had 3 episiotomies with NO anesthetic and the whole thing ripped from here to next year after that. They called in another doc and both sewed for almost an hour to putt muscles, vaginal wall, and anal sphincter back together (and the anesthetic then didn’t work well because I have an unusual tolerance to those meds). So, the pain was indescribable for birth and repair. I am so hard-core, I actually chose to have more kids, which had to be via c-section because of the damage from the first, and the HG came on sooner, lasted longer, and was worse each time. I took Zofran at the max doses with 3 pregnancies and my kids and I are great. In fact, for the first kid, I had a doc that didn’t tell me about Zofran and let me “tough it out” (I was miserable, but it was not as bad as the successive pregnancies) and that is my kid who had all the medical troubles! Anyway, I just couldn’t read any more of these and be silent. I hope that the information about potential troubles with Zofran are incorrect. My heart goes out to anyone who experiences bad side effects. I also know that I tried EVERYTHING (reglan, compazine, phenegrin, Vitamin B6 with Unisom, ginger, essential oils, sea bands, meditation, herb teas, acupressure, crackers, etc…. everything!) and Zofran kept me alive and pregnant. Hopefully it is not a cause of defects for moms or babies, since it has been a “miracle drug” for many. (and I have no love for the filthy rich pharma companies! Before it went generic, it took almost an act of congress to get it for me and I suffered greatly during the wait time)

  17. I am only talking about giving Zofran to small children to stop dehydration.

    My son was given Zofran at the emergency room at the age of two to keep him from becoming dehydratated. He was complaining of a tummy ache and had been vomiting for 24 hours. Giving Zofran to stop dehydration in small children is (I was told) a common practice.

    As it turned out his tummy ache was food poisoning (e.coli OH:157 strain) and the Zofran kept his body from doing what it naturally needed to do ~ vomit to expell the bacteria. After not vomiting for about 18 hours it started back up with a vengance and he developed colitis (bloody diarrhea) and was in total kidney failure within 36 hours from taking Zofran. His E.coli had turned into HUS (Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome).

    My 2 year old, stayed at the hospital for over 1 month. Needing blood transfusions, dialysis, tubs in his lungs… Every organ in his body was being effected by this deadly bacteria ~ even his brain to the point were he was having full blown seizures. He will forever be a kidney patient…

    I will always wonder if Zofran made things worse for him. Had he been able to vomit in the begining MAYBE, just maybe his fight with e.coli would not have turned deadly. http://www.stopfoodborneillness.org/content/daltons-story

    I strongly disagree with medical doctors giving Zofran to small children, in an effort to stop dehydration. Especially, when they do NOT know the cause of the vomiting.

    Has anyone ever done a study to see if there is a coorelation between children who get e.coli and are given Zofran and the development of HUS?

    • Sounds to me like the misdiagnosis was the initial cause and them prescribing the Zofran did likely exasperate his condition. I’m sorry.

    • I just lost my infant son due to shiga toxin ecoli. He developed sepsis (the ecoli went into his blood stream) 4 hours after taking Zofran. I believe it contributed to his developing of sepsis because it kept him from his vomiting and diarrhea . The ER doctor also misdiagnosed him. He diagnosed him with a stomach virus. Doctors shouldn’t be passing pills to patients that they haven’t tested properly

      • First off all I would like to say how saddened it makes me to hear your story. I have little ones. I am a disabled nurse and worked in many ERs over the years. I would like to clear up a few details as it sounds to me that you have a lot of questions that have gone unanswered. Before I start, I too have become disabled with severe systemic pain that is believed to have come from a device implanted inside of me. So I can empathize with your beliefs.
        During my time as an ER nurse I treated thousands of children ranging in 1 second old to 17 yrs. When a physician receives a child over 2 yrs old. It is acceptable and practicle to give Zofran for nausea and vomiting. Of the thousands of those children 90% were some type of benign bug whether bacterial or viral, none the less, benign. If a child presents sick enough, i.e. Fever, lethargic, dehydrated. The standard is to start an IV, draw blood work to evaluate CBC or complete blood count, and blood cultures, as well as others and perhaps X-rays. The CBC will measure five different types of white blood cells which will help guide diagnosis. When pathological bacteria are present in the body as they were in your case the white blood cells elevate, some times tripling or quadrupling. More specifically the neutrophils which are your first line of defense of the five types of white blood cells multiply in response to foreign bacteria. If the infection is viral they most often do not elevate unless the body is extremely distressed. Elevated white blood cells, fever and vomiting also alarms us to evaluate for appendicitis if there is lower abdominal pain. A well trained ER physician will determine that if an appendicitis is probable the child will be referred to a surgeon for further examination if the white blood cells are high. Every Physician follows a protocol and while some doctors appear lazy, uncompassionate or even borderline retarded they all follow these protocols. There are literally thousands of protocols that are vetted by professional organizations like the American heart academy for heart related issues or in your case the American academy of pediatrics. They are the authority for determining how every doctor should approach every specific condition, diagnosis or perhaps just symptom. Now the caveat. Most parents are scared as hell when their child starts vomiting for reasons unknown. Most will wait only a few minutes to an hour before coming to the Emergency Room. Although white blood cells elevate in the presence of bacteria which include e.coli sometimes the patient arrives for evaluation before the white blood cells have had time to replicate. This will show up on a blood test as within normal limits. In any particular situation where a child is having nausea and vomiting it is considered appropriate to give Zofran to children over six months of age, IV or by mouth unless allergic. In 100% of the thousands of kids IV treated with Zofran, 100% felt much better with the medication. I believed it t be the best drug in the world. Perhaps not anymore depending on further studies of the drug. You mentioned your concern that the Zofran may have kept the e.coli from being expelled. This is not the case. By the time your child start smvomiting the bacteria is already starting to colonize in the intestinal tract. While some bacteria may be vomited, it is irrelevant to the fact that the bug is deep in the gastrointestinal tract. Zofran does not affect diarrhea. The only thing at this point that can get rid of the bug is antibiotics. If you had arrived to the ER for evaluation before the white blood cells had elevated any physician would likely diagnose as viral as they can only make a diagnosis with the information they have at that time. Now we go back to the blood cultures this is what confirms the diagnosis of e.coli. The problem is that blood cultures take 48hrs to give results. It is that blood is smeared on a Petri dish and put in a warmer to see what grows. Normally blood is sterile that is nothing should grow. By the time blood cultures give results the bug has already reaked havoc in the patient. It is horribly unfortunate. Given the limited information I know of your sons case, if I were the physician I would probably missed it on the first contact as well. I don’t know the details so it’s best to know; Did the doctor draw a CBC and blood cultures? Did he have a fever upon arrival? Most importantly were the white blood cells elevated? If he had a fever, ordered these tests and they were inconclusive the doctor can not diagnose e.coli. It is very rare. Did the physician even order blood work, if not, why? If blood cultures were drawn, were results reported immediately to the proper authority. I can only say that Zofran was not a relevant factor. I’m not sure if the physician has any liability. It depends whether he followed protocol. I would find out!!! Again my condolences. I pray for his soul as he will always be in your heart. Tim RN

  18. Without Zofran I would be on TPN (not able to eat any solid food). If the issue is with generics, hey doc, just check the “no substitutions” box and there’s no problem! PLEASE do not take this drug from people who really need it!!!

  19. My 91 yo mom vomits with any pill whatsoever…always been that way…super sensitive stomach. She’s having colonoscopy in 2 days and the GI doc gave Rx for dolcolax 2 hrs before prep and another Rx for zofran 30 min before prep. She’s 100 lbs. she thinks the pills will make her vomit…shes not concerned about drinking the prep. Is zofran safe for elderly right before a colon prep which will surely throw her electrolytes off & cause dehydration ? Is there a suppository form?

  20. I realize this is quite an old posting, but it’s information I haven’t heard at all about Zofran.

    I had HG in my two pregnancies. Went “up the ladder” of nausea/vomiting meds, starting with Phenergan, then Compazine, then Reglan (which caused tardive dyskinesia/akathisia episodes that I still suffer effects from, but I didn’t realize what it was and what caused it until several years later).

    Eventually I ended up on the Zofran orally disintegrating tablets (brand name, this was in 2005 (and again in 2007) and the generic was not available yet…and I was also told it was a “new” drug). I had several ECGs in both my pregnancies (and one echocardiogram as well) due to fears of heart damage caused by potassium levels so low I don’t know how I was lucid or my heart was even beating. Every time I had an ECG, I was told they didn’t find any signs of damage but that I did have “non-specific elongation of the QT interval” and that they didn’t know what was causing it, but it would “probably” resolve after giving birth. (I went to school for medical assisting, and had probably a dozen ECGs done during lab practice, none of those ever showed the QT interval elongation. I have not had an ECG since giving birth to my second child, but maybe I should.)

    So now I have to wonder, was the non-specific elongation of the QT interval caused by the low potassium? Electrolyte imbalance? Dehydration? Ketoacidosis? Or was it because I was given Zofran while dehydrated, electrolyte imbalanced, etc?

    I guess this is just one more thing to look back on and be glad that I survived pregnancy and have two healthy children, despite the totally inadequate care, lack of information, and horrible “advice” I received from ER docs, my CNM, the high-risk OB I consulted with, and the on-call OB who took me off PPN and discharged me from the hospital with no meds despite not being able to keep down even water. (He was a real “winner”. He actually told me that instead of trying to drink any liquids, to stay hydrated I should eat cereal, bread, crackers, etc because “they’re carbo*hydrates*! They have ‘hydrate’ right in the name!”)

    • Chris Howell on

      I have been diagnosed w afib. Dr told me I had two episodes while in the hospital 2 weeks. The salt pills I was given made me sick. He put me on Dialtez 120 Er and now loosing hair

  21. I have been taking Zofran (generic) for several years at dosage of 8 mg 3x/day to treat severe gastroparesis. I am concerned about the long term use. Does anyone know of good studies addressing this issue?

  22. The person responsible for this post left out a HUGE detail – the dose. This is what the study actually states,

    “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is informing healthcare professionals and the public that preliminary results from a recently completed clinical study suggest that a 32 mg single intravenous dose of ondansetron (Zofran, ondansetron hydrochloride, and generics) may affect the electrical activity of the heart (QT interval prolongation), which could pre-dispose patients to develop an abnormal and potentially fatal heart rhythm known as Torsades de Pointes.”


  23. So no “black box” warning. The 32mg iv single dose used in chemo is now being withdrawn. But the “FDA continues to recommend the intravenous regimen of 0.15 mg/kg administered every 4 hours for three doses to prevent chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Oral dosing of Ondansetron remains effective for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.”


    However, in the link at the beginning of this article the FDA says, “Patients at particular risk include those with underlying heart conditions, such as congenital long QT syndrome, those who are predisposed to low levels of potassium and magnesium in the blood, and those taking other medications that lead to QT prolongation.”

    Now, surely anyone suffering from severe vomiting could fall into that electrolyte risk category?? Should they therefore have ECG monitoring as per original FDA advisory?

  24. When my daughter and I were taken to the Emergency Room at 3am after vomiting our brains out with food poisoning (highlighted with me puking bile all over the triage nurse), we were both given Zofran intravenously. I can say with great confidence that side effects were the LAST thing on my mind while I was begging for help through a curtain of my bile-dripping hair. I would have paid anything and agreed to (nearly) anything to keep from heaving even one more time. Big Pharma is evil, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

  25. Just had shot of zofran and feel 100% better than I have felt in days. The nurse said for me to sit in the waiting room for 30 minutes which has passed with no side effects. Ready to go. Great drug!

  26. My pregnant daughter was given Zofran and her feet and hands began to swell shortly after, she deveolped a condistion that is very rare called Erythromelalgia, the pain was so excruciating that she was hospialized and put on some very heavy duty pain medications, frightening during pregnancy. I am feeling this all started as a direct result of the Zofran but I do not know how to prove it. I also found out that it in NOT FDA approved to give to pregnant women… Help, ideas

  27. Grace, I’m sorry that your daughter is going through that. Fact of the matter is that there is no evidence-based study (i.e. gold standard double-blinded, placebo-controlled) that is going to help you defend or refute zofran’s use in pregnancy.

    No regulating agency is ever going to approve a study with pregnant women in it.

  28. I took zofran with both my pregnancies despite concerns about medicating. When I didn’t take it, I could not even hold down tiny sips of water and ended up in the hospital several times. The benefits outweighed the risks. Both of my boys are happy, healthy, and incredibly smart. Birth defects happen for a multitude of reasons, it is easy to blame some drug you were on when it could very well be another environmental influence.

  29. If the doctor is familiar with of the sympathetic, recovering (if possible woman) alcoholic who’d be eager to satisfy using the patient and give her help, he / she may well give a suggestion for example, “I know somebody having a related predicament and qualifications as yours. Would you head if I requested her to simply call you?” Even though it is tempting to enlist others to stimulate this patient to stop consuming, great treatment has to be taken never to disclose her healthcare difficulties without the need of her consent, not only for medicolegal explanations, and also to retain her have faith in. Leaving a voice-mail information for her son in the home, in which she will be prone to listen to it, could undermine these targets.

  30. I was given Zofran during my 3rd pregnancy. I had severe nausea with all 3 children…all day long, the entire pregnancies with 2 girls and for 28 weeks with my son. I was given phenergan which helped a little but the temporary Dr. I was seeing with my 3rd pregnancy wanted me to try Zofran. She assured me that it was as safe as phenergan. Stupidly, I assumed it was an antihistamine like promethazine… I took ONE dose and within an hour my mood suddenly changed. I was extremely emotional, shaking and nearly suicidally distraught.. A massive change in my demeanor at the time. I have a history of depression and PPD as well as PTSD. I immediatley looked up the drug to find it was a serotonin blocker! What? I mean, why in the world would a Dr. prescribe something of this nature to ANYONE with a history of anxiety or depression? I would never recommend this drug to anyone. I’m lucky I didn’t die that day. I will never take anything without researching it fully again.Lesson learned. Glad I am still breathing.

  31. I was given Zofran to treat severe nausea which is a side effect of chemotherapy. I have stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer. My heart is also very weak. When I took the Zofran, I had shortness of breath and felt like I was going to faint. I stopped taking the Zofran and now I use ginger and drink plenty of water to help me cope with the nausea.

  32. I took zofran while expecting my twins. I had constant nausea and could not keep anything down. The zofran was given to me to help with the nausea and help me to gain the weight I needed for the twins. My twins were born healthy, however at 14 months my son was diagnosed with cancer, neuroblastoma. Wondering now if there is a connection? Fortunately, the cancer was found early enough to remove and it did not spread.

    • Jamie Ferris on

      Mary Sue,
      I have the same experience. Have you researched further? I’m just discovering that Zofran was not ok to take.

      • Jamie Ferris – your child also had neuroblastoma? I have not researched it further but because of your email I am planning on calling the oncologist today to ask if she has seen a link between the two. Have you researched it further?

  33. magay lockhart on

    I was given Zofran in 2013 because of stomach pain, and I went into cardiac arrest, had a zeisure, felt from the stretcher, and broke my left eye socket. Now I have lots of headaches, and rapid heart beat. THANK YOU ZOFRAN

  34. Barbara Smith on

    My husband was admitted to hospital(NHS Trust England) for cardiac stenting August 30th 2011. He was administered Ondansetron (ZOFRAN)in the recovery area following the stenting procedure. He suffered an un-survivable bleed to the brain 1-2 hours later. It has been difficult to ascertain the exact situation due to what looks like falsification of his medical notes within the recovery area. However, it now appears, he had an electrolyte imbalance when he was admitted to the hospital for stenting (that would be about 1 hour prior to being given Zofran). The electrolyte imbalance appears to have gone undiagnosed and untreated. My husband also had a slow heart rate, this slow heart rate was normal for him, he had in general been very fit man, his heart rate would also beat rapidly every now and again. The medical notes show he was also administered Atropine in the recovery area! I have experienced a great deal of difficulties with the NHS Trust (England) involved with in his care and I am still trying to get answers.

  35. Shannon Burrell on

    My father was diagnosed with congestive heart failure right before Easter. He went for a follow-up visit on the 16th of April 2015. He did not get to see his doctor, but he saw a physicians assistant. She said all his vitals were good even though he told her he could taste urine. She said he could go back for another follow-up in two weeks. His primary care physician had him do blood work on his way home. At 2:30am Friday morning his doctor called and informed him to go to the ER because his kidneys were failing and he wanted him to be tested. He got there and my sister said he was doing fine until 5:45am when the nurse stuck ZOHRAN into his Iv which immediately put him into cardiac arrest and my father passed after them trying to revive him. They did not pay attention to the fact that you shouldn’t be giving someone with congestive heart failure ZOHRAN!!! Now we can never get him back. I will never be able to hear my daddys voice again.

  36. I was given Zofran when I had food poisoning back in 2003, and this year three of my lime trees have been badly affected by citrus canker.

    Coincidence? I think not!!!

    I found three other people on the Internet who have had the EXACT. SAME. PROBLEM.

    Imma get me a lawyer.

  37. I have never had an issue with Zofran and am not likely to stop taking it because of this. They always put me on a monitor in the ER anyway so I’m not really worried. It is the most effective anti-emetic I have ever tried.

  38. My 18 month old son died after he was given Zofran. Cardiac arrest. His heart just stopped. But because he was at home and not at a hospital his death is still under review.

  39. My 13 year old daughter went into the hospital for dehydration and they gave her an iv and added Zofran. She ended up back in the E R with a prolonged QT– very dangerous drug. Use ginger.

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