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Ondansetron (Zofran)

How does this medicine work?

Ondansetron (on-dan-se-tron) is a medicine used to treat and prevent nausea and vomiting.

How should I give it?

Ondansetron may be given by mouth as a liquid, pill, or tablet; or in a vein (IV). It may be given in one of these ways:

  • as needed
  • at regular times
  • continuously through an IV

Your child should be awake and alert when taking any medicine by mouth. Follow the checked instructions below:

___ If using the liquid form, draw up the correct amount in the medicine dropper or oral syringe. Give a small squirt of the medicine inside the cheek. To avoid choking, let your child swallow each squirt before giving more.

___ For babies, you may want to mix the medicine with a small amount of formula or breast milk and give it with a bottle nipple before feeding. Do not add the medicine to a whole bottle because if your baby does not finish it, you will not know how much of the medicine was taken.

___ For older children who cannot swallow pills, a special tablet called Zofran ODT (oral disintegrating tablet) is available. Place it under the tongue and it will dissolve.

Other instructions:




Are there any precautions about food or other medicines?

This medicine may be given with or without food.

Check with the doctor, nurse practitioner, or pharmacist before giving any other prescription or non-prescription medicines, herbs, or vitamins.

What should I do if a dose is missed?

If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you remember. Never give a double dose.

If your child vomits a regular dose (not of the ODT type) within 30 minutes after receiving it, give it again. If your child vomits the second dose, do not repeat it again. If your child vomits an ODT dose, do not repeat it. Ondansetron ODT is absorbed into the body right away.

If your child misses or vomits two doses in a row, please call the clinic.

What are the side effects?


  • headache
  • constipation


  • fatigue
  • change in liver tests (with long-term use)
  • diarrhea
  • feeling dizzy

When should I call the clinic?

  • continued vomiting after 2 doses
  • signs of allergic reaction:
    • fever or chills
    • rash or hives
    • wheezing
    • trouble breathing - call 911

What else do I need to know?

You and your child should know the names and doses of all medicines he or she is taking. Share this information with anyone involved in your child's care. Please remember to bring the medicine container when your child comes to the clinic or emergency department.

Always make sure you have enough medicine on hand. Each time you refill the prescription, check to see how many refills are left. If no refills are left, the pharmacy will need 2 or 3 days to contact the clinic to renew the prescription.

Check the label and the expiration date before giving each dose. Ask your pharmacist what to do with outdated or unused medications. Empty them into the trash if there is no "take-back" program.

Store all medicines in their original containers and away from direct sunlight or heat. Do not store in humid places such as the bathroom. Keep them out of children's reach; lock up if possible.

If too much or the wrong kind of medicine is taken, call the Poison Control Center toll-free at 1-800-222-1222. If your child is unconscious or has a seizure, call 911.


This sheet is not specific to your child but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call the clinic or pharmacy.

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Patient/Family Education
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Last reviewed 8/2015 ©Copyright

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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