I rank Zofran 14 out of the 33 drugs I carry.
Zofran is an anti-emetic. When I started as a medic, we had Dramaine for motion-sickness, nausea. Then we got Reglan, then we got Phenergan, and now (once it went generic) finally we have Zofran. All I can say is Horray for Zofran!
I gave Zofran to more patients (41) last year than any other drug, more than aspirin, more than nitro, more than breathing treatments. It is a excellent drug. I give it to anyone who is vomiting or nauseaous. While it hasn’t worked on every patient, since we got Zofran, it is an extremely rare event that I got vomitted on. And while a few patients may continue to feel nauseous, most say they feel better.
In putting together this list, it is hard to weigh all the variables: does the drug safe lives? does it do something that needs to be done right away? does it make the patient feel better? does it truly work? and often do I use it?
I can’t say that Zofran is a life-saving drug, but it is an excellent comfort drug. It is rare that I am ever nauseous, but the few times I have been, it is a truly awful experience. It makes you feel subhuman, pathetic, and puny. Zofran gives patients their dignity back, in addition to keeping the floor of my ambulance clean.
I keep a stash of Zofran in my bench seat IV tray, next to the Aspirin and Nitro, so it is right there at the handy.
“This should help with your nausea,” I say.
Horray for Zofran!
Class: Antiemetic; Serotonin Receptor Antagonist, 5-HT3
Action: Selectively antagonizes serotonin 5-HT3 receptors
Indication: Nausea; Vomiting
Contraindication: Hypersensitivity to Ondansetron
Precautions: Hypersensitivity to other selective 5-HT3 antagonists
Adverse effects: Headache (40% incidence)
Tachycardia; Anginal chest pain (rare)
Constipation; diarrhea; dry mouth
Dizziness (5% incidence)
Transient Blindness (rare)
Pregnancy Class: B
Adult Dose: 4 mg or Slow IV over 2 – 5 minutes
Pediatric Dose: 0.1 mg/kg (max. single dose of 4 mg) IM or slow IV over 2 –
Routes: Slow IV over 2 – 5 minutes
Notes: Ondansetron causes less sedation and incurs minimal risk of
dystonia as compared to other antiemetics such as
Promethazine (Phenergan ®), prochlorperazine
(Compazine®), or Metoclopramide (Reglan®).