Serotonin antagonists may be given as a pill, as a patch,
or as a shot.
How It Works
Serotonin antagonists work by blocking the
effects of a chemical called serotonin, which is produced in the brain and the
Why It Is Used
Serotonin antagonists prevent and
relieve nausea and vomiting caused by
chemotherapy. They also are used before surgery to
prevent nausea and vomiting caused by
anesthesia. Serotonin antagonists also decrease
episodes of bulimia in people with
How Well It Works
Serotonin antagonists prevent and relieve nausea and vomiting caused by
chemotherapy and anesthesia.
Although serotonin antagonists cause fewer
side effects than other antinausea medicines (antiemetics), side effects can
Side effects from serotonin antagonist patches may also
include reactions on the skin, such as redness, rash, or blisters, where the
patch is placed.
Taking ondansetron may increase a person's risk for a very rare but serious condition called serotonin syndrome.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side
effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Serotonin antagonists are often used with other medicines, such as
dexamethasone and aprepitant (Emend), to prevent and control nausea and
vomiting caused by chemotherapy.
These medicines should not be
used by children who weigh less than
20 lb (9 kg) or are younger
than age 3.
It is not known whether serotonin antagonists pass
into breast milk. If you are breast-feeding, do not take these medicines
without first talking to your doctor.
antagonists may be safe for use during pregnancy, do not take these medicines
until you have discussed your pregnancy with your doctor.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Primary Medical Reviewer
||Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
||Douglas A. Stewart, MD - Medical Oncology
Current as of
||September 19, 2013