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Is Zofran Safe to Take for Morning Sickness?

Alison Wood | 7, March 2013


With each pregnancy comes nausea, fatigue and breast tenderness, also known as morning sickness. Nausea and vomiting is the most infamous effect of the baby bump and can become so severe that it interferes with daily living. Women who work outside the home during pregnancy find it very difficult to keep up with the same pace as other workers when they are plagued by severe vomiting that can lead to weakness and dehydration.

If the nausea and vomiting become so severe that you become dehydrated and unable to rest, your doctor may prescribe Zofran (Ondansetron) to give you some needed relief. Zofran was originally created for use in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. It is now used to offer relief to mothers who suffer from severe nausea and vomiting. But, the question that comes to every pregnant woman's mind about prescriptions drugs during pregnancy is, "Will this harm my baby?"

A recent study published by The New England Journal of Medicine on February 28, 2013 has confirmed that Zofran is safe to take during pregnancy. Performed in Denmark, doctors studied over 600,000 women, and their pregnancies, over a specified amount of time. These women included pregnancies that were exposed to Zofran as well as pregnancies that were not exposed to Zofran. The results were comforting.

Receiving Zofran during pregnancy did not increase the risks of miscarriage, still-birth, low-birth rate babies or birth defects.

If your doctor prescribes Zofran, check with your insurance to see if it is covered. Zofran is pretty pricey and the majority of insurance companies do not cover this medication. If that is your case, ask your doctor for the generic alternative.

Although Zofran is considered quite safe, there are possible side effects that have been reported.

The more serious, yet less likely side effects are:

  • blurred vision or temporary vision loss (lasting from only a few minutes to several hours)
  • severe dizziness, feeling short of breath, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeats
  • slow heart rate,
  • trouble breathing
  • anxiety
  • agitation
  • shivering
  • feeling like you might pass out
  • urinating less than usual or not at all.

Less Serious, but possible side effects include:

  • diarrhea or constipation
  • weakness or fatigue
  • fever
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness

Many women have been successful using Zofran and recommend it to other moms. Talk with your practitioner about the best options for you and your baby during pregnancy.

Other Ways to Combat Morning Sickness

If nausea and vomiting are plaguing your pregnancy, try these quick tips for a more comfortable pregnancy:

The Morning Sickness Diet

Grab some carbonated drinks.
Drinks that bubble help many women with the woes of consistent nausea. Reach for the decaffeinated drinks like Sierra Mist, Root Beer, Ginger Ale and carbonated, flavored waters. Be careful to sip the drinks and not gulp them in order to avoid too full a tummy. Full tummies can serve to aggravate nausea and vomiting.

Chew, chew, chew.
Some women enjoy chewing gum to ward off tummy trouble. Minty and fruity flavors give an extra kick to the queasy tummy.

Consume vitamins nocturnally.
Try taking your prenatal vitamins at night before you head to bed. Consider taking it with juice or something besides water. This helps the taste become tolerable. Ask your doctor specifically for gel coated vitamins. If nothing else works with your vitamins, ask your practitioner about children's daily vitamins. Your doctor will be able to prescribe the correct amount needed and these vitamins can hold you over until you are able to resume taking your regular prenatal vitamins.

Get some fresh air.
If nausea hits you suddenly, try going outside for fresh air. If you are in the car, open the windows. If it is raining, turn on the air condition and breathe in cool air from the vents. Fall and winter night air is great for sufferers of nausea.

Wear some relief.
Try an acupressure band. These bands are soft and are worn on the wrist to avoid seasickness. However, many pregnant women have found relief from wearing these bands. The band has a button that presses against an acupressure point on your wrist. It is simple, inexpensive and can be found at your local drug store.

Nausea can be brought on by exhaustion. Make sure you are getting seven hours of sleep nightly and you are taking frequent breaks during the day. Quick, small breaks will make your pregnancy more enjoyable and will aid your body in fighting off nausea, headaches and more undesirables experienced during pregnancy.

Alison Wood is a stay-at-home mom of six and freelance writer and blogger. She enjoys raising her six children and desires to share her experiences to help other mothers.

Related Articles

Morning Sickness

What Causes Severe Morning Sickness?

Prolonged Morning Sickness

Putting the Brakes on Morning Sickness

Stop Morning Sickness With Your Thumb


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