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What Factors Affect Zofran® Dosage?

By S. Berger
Updated May 17, 2024
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Zofran® is the brand name for ondansetron, a medication that affects nerves and brain areas involved in creating the feeling of nausea. Often, it is used to control nausea and vomiting, although other medical uses for it exist, such as treating alcohol dependence. Individuals usually take a Zofran® dosage that is based on the medical condition being treated. Body weight, age, and liver conditions are other factors that can also affect how much ondansetron is necessary to be beneficial.

Chemotherapy can cause nausea and vomiting in some people, and this medication is often used to treat these side effects. An individual may take a different Zofran® dosage based on how likely their chemotherapy medication is to cause nausea. Moderate-risk chemotherapy typically utilizes an oral dose of 8 milligrams (mg) half an hour before the chemo session, and another 8 mg eight hours after the session. For two days after chemotherapy, 8 mg is typically taken twice a day.

High-risk chemotherapy often requires that a person takes a Zofran® dosage of 24 mg half an hour before chemotherapy, followed by two 8 mg doses per day. At times, an intravenous (IV) dosage may be used instead of oral dosing, particularly if an individual is too nauseous to swallow pills. In this case, an IV dose is given based on body weight. Typically, a dose of 0.15 mg per 1 kilogram (kg), or 2.2 pounds (lb), body weight is given half an hour before therapy, and every four hours until the session is over.

Children may sometimes take this medication for chemotherapy as well, and often take a smaller Zofran® dosage than adults. Younger children between the ages of four and 11 typically take 4 mg half an hour before a chemo session, and another 4 mg at four and eight hours afterward. For children over 11, a dosage of 8 mg may be given three times a day during the chemotherapy sessions.

Other situations exist that can require alterations of the usual Zofran® dosage. To treat alcohol dependence, a small dose of 4 micrograms (mcg) per 1 kg, or 2.2 lb, is generally given twice a day. People with liver damage, who may not break this drug down as quickly, usually do not take more than 8 mg of Zofran® per day. This lower dosage prevents the medication from building up to high levels in the bloodstream, which could increase the chances of unpleasant side effects.

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