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What is Ondansetron HCL?

written by: Kathy Foust•edited by: DaniellaNicole•updated: 8/30/2009

Ondansetron HCL has many uses. Do you know what it is being used for in your body? Read here to learn about the uses of and side effects of this medication so that you can stay informed about what goes into your body.

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    Uses and Contraindications

    Ondansetron HCL is generally used to prevent the nausea that accompanies some forms of treatment associated with cancer such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy. This medication is also used as a way to prevent postoperative nausea. This medication should not be taken if the patient has any history of hypersensitivity when using this medication.

    It's important to note that the treatments for cancer in the form of radiation treatments tend to cause nausea in a body that is already ill. This tends to prevent the individual from ingesting proteins and minerals that are vital to their survival. The prevention of nausea in these cases is a considerable task and provides many benefits in the way of helping to allow the person to ingest the proteins necessary for their survival.

    The medication is taken orally and is usually found in the form of 8 mg capsules.

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    Dosages

    Though laboratory tests indicate that large doses of this medication do not pose any significant health threats, the usual amount taken at any one given time is 24 mg. This is done by taking 3 separate 8 mg capsules previous to the use of radiotherapy or chemotherapy as is used with patients who have cancer.

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    Side Effects

    Some of the side effects of Ondansetron HCL are listed below. Please bear in mind that some of these side effects are also consistent with the side effects of radiation treatment in those with cancer.

    • Dizziness
    • Fatigue
    • Constipation
    • Diarrhea

    It is also possible that this medication may have the ability to mask potential gastrointestinal problems. If you experience any or all of these side effects, contact your doctor immediately. If you feel that you are having side effects that are not listed here, you should also contact your doctor about those so that you and your doctor may explore the possible cause of these symptoms.

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    Drug Interactions and Warnings

    As always, if you are taking any type of medication, you should inform your doctor of this before taking any new medications. There are no specified medications that are documented to have caused a conflict with this particular one, but you should always keep your doctor informed when taking any type of medication.

    It is possible to experience temporary blindness that may last from a time span of a matter of minutes up to 48 hours when taking this medication. This medication should not be taken by breastfeeding mothers as certain medications are known to be found in breast milk. Though no studies have proved that this would be harmful to the breastfeeding infant, please advise your doctor if you are or plan to breastfeed. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should also advise their doctor of the situation before taking this medication.

    References: Drugs.com