Zuplenz (generic: ondansetron) is a prescription medication used to prevent nausea and vomiting due to cancer chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery. Zuplenz belongs to a group of drugs called 5-HT3 receptor antagonists. The exact way Zuplenz works to prevent nausea is unknown, but it may work by affecting serotonin levels in the intestines.
This medication comes in dissolvable film strips to be placed on the tongue. Zuplenz is taken 30 minutes before chemotherapy, 1 hour before surgery, and 1 to 2 hours before radiation therapy.
Common side effects of Zuplenz include headache, tiredness, and constipation.
Zuplenz is a prescription medicine that is used in adults to prevent nausea and vomiting:
- Caused by certain cancer chemotherapy medicines, radiation therapy to your stomach-area (abdomen), or radiation therapy to your entire body.
- that may happen after surgery
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Zuplenz may cause serious side effects, including:
- severe allergic reactions. Stop taking Zuplenz and tell your doctor right away if you have any of these signs or symptoms of an allergic reaction with Zuplenz:
- trouble breathing
- chest tightness or chest pain
- swelling of your mouth, face, lips, or tongue
The most common side effects of Zuplenz are:
- tiredness and body discomfort
These are not all the possible side effects of Zuplenz. For more information, ask your doctor or your pharmacist.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Some medicines may affect how Zuplenz works, and Zuplenz may affect how other medicines work. Using Zuplenz with certain other medicines may cause serious side effects. Especially tell your doctor if you take:
- apomorphine hydrochloride (Apokyn)
- tramadol hydrochloride (Ultram, Ultram ER, Ryzolt)
- another medicine for nausea and vomiting
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure if your medicine is listed above.
Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show to your doctor or pharmacist each time you start a new medicine.
Do not take Zuplenz if you take apomorphine hydrochloride (Apokyn).
Do not take Zuplenz if youhave had an allergic reaction to Zuplenz orare allergic to any of its ingredients.
Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Zuplenz there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving Zuplenz.
Before receiving Zuplenz, tell your doctor if you:
- have liver problems
- have any other medical conditions
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Zuplenz will harm your unborn baby.
- are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Zuplenz passes into your breast milk.
Before you take Zuplenz oral soluble film, tell you doctor if you:
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Zuplenz will harm your unborn baby.
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Zuplenz passes into your breast milk.
Take Zuplenz exactly as your doctor tells you to take it.
- An adult should help a young child use this medicine.
Oral Soluble Film
- Keep the film in the foil pouch until ready to use. Use the film right away, after you take it from the pouch.
- Make sure your hands are dry.
- Fold the pouch along the dotted line to expose the tear notch.
- While still folded, tear the pouch carefully along the edge.
- Take the Zuplenz film strip from the pouch.
- Put the Zuplenz film on top of your tongue, where it will dissolve in 4 to 20 seconds.
- Do not chew or swallow the film whole.
- Swallow after the film dissolves. You may swallow the dissolved film with or without liquid.
- Wash your hands after taking Zuplenz.
Take Zuplenz exactly as prescribed. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.
The dose your doctor recommends will depend on a number of factors including:
- your age;
- the condition being treated;
- other medical conditions you have;
- other medications you take.
If you take too much Zuplenz, call your local Poison Control Center or seek emergency medical attention right away.
Zuplenz oral soluble film is available in 4 mg and 8 mg strengths.
Active ingredient: ondansetron
Inactive ingredients: butylated hydroxytoluene, calcium carbonate, colloidal silicon dioxide, erythritol, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, monoammonium glycyrrhizinate, peppermint flavor, polyethylene oxide, sodium bicarbonate, sucralose, titanium oxide and xanthan gum.
- Store Zuplenz at room temperature, 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
- Keep the film in the foil pouch until ready to use. Keep foil pouches in the carton.
- Use the film strip right away, after you take it from the pouch.
Keep Zuplenz and all medicines out of the reach of children.