Is ondansetron safe for use during pregnancy?

Expecting mothers often experience bouts of morning sickness or nausea during their pregnancy. Although it can be a normal part of carrying a baby, it can be uncomfortable and sometimes debilitating. Many women are wondering if they can take ondansetron to help alleviate their symptoms. Ondansetron is an antiemetic medication used to prevent nausea and vomiting, and has been widely used in both pregnant and non-pregnant individuals. In this blog post, we will explore whether or not ondansetron is a safe option for pregnant women. We will look at the potential risks and benefits of taking ondansetron during pregnancy, and what evidence exists to support its use. We will also discuss the potential side effects of ondansetron and how to properly assess your risks. With this information, you can make an informed decision about whether or not ondansetron is the right choice for you.

In 2004, the Motherisk program addressed the safety of ondansetron for fetuses through a prospective cohort study involving 176 women, mostly Americans, in which we were unable to identify an elevated teratogenic risk. The sample size, however, only disqualified a 5-fold increased risk of major malformations and not any particular malformation. Additionally, the absence of other, comparable cohort studies prevented a meta-analysis from being performed to increase the sample size.

It’s significant to note that a recent large-scale study conducted by the Slone Epidemiology Center in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, found a 2-fold increase in the risk of cleft palate associated with ondansetron taken for NVP in the first trimester of pregnancy (odds ratio 2). 37 [95% CI 1. 28 to 4. 76]). 2.

The Motherisk Team at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario creates the Motherisk quizzes. Dr. Koren is the Motherisk Program’s director, and the Research Leadership for Better Pharmacotherapy During Pregnancy and Lactation organization supports her work. He is the Ivey Chair in Molecular Toxicology at the University of Western Ontario in London’s Department of Medicine.

Published Motherisk Updates are available on the Canadian Family Physician website ( and also on the Motherisk website (

Ondansetron should be used with caution only after medications with better safety records that have been labeled for use in pregnancy (such as doxylamine-pyridoxine) have been tried because fetal and maternal safety is the primary concern when treating pregnant women with medications.

Are there any alternatives to taking ondansetron?

Possibly. Ondansetron can be prescribed by a doctor to treat hyperemesis, but typically other medications will have already been tried. Your doctor will discuss any risks associated with ondansetron use with you, and you two will decide whether these risks outweigh the therapeutic benefits.

The hormone released by the placenta, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), is most likely to blame for morning sickness. Your doctor may diagnose you with hyperemesis gravidarum and prescribe additional medications if your nausea and vomiting are severe enough to cause weight loss and dehydration.

While waiting for the nausea to subside, keep in mind that it is for a good reason and will end when you enter the second trimester. If it doesn’t, consult your doctor as you might require additional medications to provide relief.

One recent meta-analysis of eight studies suggested that exposure to ondansetron in the first trimester could cause a very small increase in the risk of heart defects and orofacial malformations like cleft palate in babies.

In the past, the general consensus was that Zofran is generally safe for use during all trimesters. However, now some people suggest otherwise.

For hyperemesis gravidarum requiring hospitalization, a maximum of 10 milligrams of Zofran should be administered intravenously (IV) every 8 hours.


How much ondansetron can I take while pregnant?

Typical dosage for pregnancy nausea

The dose of Zofran for hyperemesis gravidarum requiring hospitalization is a maximum of 10 milligrams via intravenous therapy (IV) every 8 hours. More typical pregnancy nausea is managed by a much lower oral dose — 4 to 8 mg every 8 hours.

What are the risks of taking ondansetron while pregnant?

Ondansetron: small increased risk of oral clefts following use in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Recent epidemiological studies suggest exposure to ondansetron during the first trimester of pregnancy is associated with a small increased risk of the baby having a cleft lip and/or cleft palate.

What nausea medicine is safe while pregnant?

Meclizine (Antivert), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), and dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) all help relieve pregnancy-related nausea. A review of over 35 studies found these antihistamines to be safe. And, studies have found that they’re better than placebo at treating nausea in pregnancy.

How safe and effective is ondansetron for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy?

Q: How safe and effective is ondansetron for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy? Evidence-based answer: oral ondansetron is more effective than a combination of pyridoxine and doxylamine for outpatient treatment of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (strength of recommendation [SOR]: B, randomized controlled trial [RCT]).

Ondansetron in early pregnancy – CAUTION

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