Ondansetron may pre-dispose patients to develop Torsades de Pointes, FDA warns

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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is informing healthcare professionals and the public that preliminary results from a recently completed clinical study suggest that a 32mg single intravenous dose of ondansetron (Zofran, ondansetron hydrochloride, and generics) may affect the electrical activity of the heart (QT interval prolongation), which could pre-dispose patients to develop Torsades de Pointes.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced changes to the Zofran drug label to remove the 32mg single intravenous dose. The updated label will state that ondansetron can continue to be used in adults and children with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting at the lower intravenous dose recommended in the drug label, a dose of 0.15 mg/kg administered every 4 hours for three doses; however, no single intravenous dose should exceed 16mg. Information from the new clinical study will be included in the updated drug label.

The FDA has announced that it will evaluate the final study results when available, and will work with GSK to explore an alternative single dose regimen that is both safe and effective for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in adults.


About ondansetron


Ondansetron is in a class of medications called 5-HT3 receptor antagonists. It is used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery.

The FDA encourages healthcare professionals and patients to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of this product to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program, for more information click here.

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