Chemotherapy, no matter how positive you are, absolutely sucks. There’s nothing nice about it, other than the people you meet while you’re doing it. It’s poison. It’s killing your cancer, but it’s also killing healthy cells. You will want to control your nausea as much as possible, because you are going to need any extra energy that you can get! I went through cancer and this is my experience with Zofran or the generic name; Ondansetron.
What Are the Side Effects? This is always my first question before I take anything! I hope it’s yours too. I want to know the common side effects and the rare ones. I had no ill side effects from taking Zofran to speak off. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any. Drugs.com lists some common side effects as confusion, weakness, dizziness, headache, fever, and fast heartbeat. Rare or less common side effects can include painful or decreased urination, difficulty breathing or swallowing, fast pounding, or irregular heartbeat, cough, chest pain, and even nausea. This list isn’t comprehensive; read all side effects here.
My Experience: I tried Zofran in pill form that I swallowed and later when I was unable to eat at all, I tried the kind that melts under your tongue. I honestly can’t believe they expect cancer patients who are already nauseous to take this stuff. The taste of it melting would make me vomit almost immediately. The only time Zofran worked for me was when it was injected through my IV. The normal dosage is 4 milligrams. I always needed 8 through an IV to get any relief. My doctor paired my Zofran up with a medication called Compazine. I still threw up. I finally switched to Phenergan which worked better than any other pharmaceutical medication (I recommend medical marijuana if it’s legal where you live).
I realize not everyone wants or can use medial marijuana. Just because Zofran didn’t work for me, it doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. Many people I know thought it was the best thing for nausea during chemotherapy. If you have a really delicate stomach; where smells make you throw up, water makes you throw up, moving makes you throw up…try Phenergan if Zofran fails. It will absolutely make you sleepy so don’t plan on driving!
Different Choices: Different things work for different people. No one reacts exactly the same to medications. Don’t let your doctor “bully” you into anything. Sometimes they follow a “standard” form of care for cancer patients. If it isn’t working for you, do not, for any reason just suffer in silence. Speak up! Call them after hours if you need to. It’s better than ending up in the hospital because you’re dehydrated. There are lots of nausea medications. Zofran seems pretty mild. I do recommend at least trying it before you jump to Phenergan, just because Phenergan makes you want to sleep so much.
For You: If you are fighting cancer, remember that hope and love can see you through the pain and fear. I wish you the best in your fight. Cancer Survivors Network is an awesome source of information and support for caregivers, survivors, and those who are currently fighting.
For More Cancer Related Articles, Visit Carrie Williams Homepage. Her articles all come from personal experience and are written from the heart to help others.