Zofran for hangovers

Evidence based

Zofran (Ondansetron) For Hangovers: Is It Good For Nausea?

Afterdrink Author Dewey Jhon
Dewey Jhon


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Evidence based

Can you take Zofran when hungover and does it help with nausea and other symptoms? This is a surprisingly common question with an answer that’s not exactly straightforward.

Zofran is a drug prescribed by doctors for various causes of nausea.

So naturally, you may be wondering if Zofran is good for hangover nausea as well?

And that’s exactly what we’re going to take a look at today. In this article, we’re going to examine how Zofran works and whether you can take it after drinking alcohol.

We’ll also look at whether it can be used for nausea associated with a hangover and if there are any side effects to be aware of.

So, with the introductions out of the way, let’s start taking a closer look at whether the Zofran you may have in your drugs cupboard can / should be used for hangovers.

Table of contents

What Is Zofran?

Also known as Ondansetron, Zofran is a prescribed medication for nausea. Ondansetron being the actual drug name and Zofran the brand or trade name.

The main indication for using Zofran is for chemotherapy-induced and post-operative nausea. It works by blocking 5HT3 receptors in the gastrointestinal tract and in the brain. And this receptor is an important mediator in certain causes of nausea.(1)

Aside from this, Zofran is also used for many other causes of nausea such as gastroenteritis. With that said, it’s not very effective for motion sickness (i.e seasickness).

It’s important to note that there are many pathways and receptors that are involved in the symptom of nausea and several other drugs are used when it comes to treating nausea.

Now that we’ve got some of the basics out the way, let’s take a closer look at Zofran for hangovers.

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Is Zofran good for hangover nausea?

So, will Zofran help with hangover nausea?

Given that it’s a medication used to treat many causes of nausea, it is therefore probably likely to help with hangover-related nausea.

However, it’s not a recommended use of this drug. Medication like Zofran should only be used as directed by your doctor. Using them to treat symptoms that are unrelated to what it’s prescribed for is not an appropriate use and comes with risks.

A much better option that is safe and effective is to use ginger. For example, by making yourself a ginger tea.(2)

Ginger is a research-backed anti-nausea remedy and you can read more about how it’s a good option in our article about hangover nausea.

In most cases, hangover nausea settles by itself after a few hours. And all that’s required is rest and rehydration to ease the symptoms. It’s also a sign that you’ve had way too much alcohol for your body to handle. So the best approach is to reduce your alcohol intake to prevent hangover nausea.

Zofran is not a licensed or recommended indication for hangover nausea and is not an appropriate use of this drug. Medication should only be used as prescribed by your doctor.

Is Zofran safe?

As with all medications, the side effect lists are extensive and a comprehensive guide will be present on the information leaflet.

Although uncommon, severe allergic reactions are a possibility if you’ve never taken Zofran before as well as the risk of developing heart arrhythmias.

It’s especially important if you’re taking any other medication or have underlying health issues. In which case discussing your physician first is a must.

Does Zofran help with other hangover symptoms?

No, Zofran has no benefit for any other symptom of a hangover.

Anything else to consider?

We’ve said it before; hangovers are a sign from your body that you’ve been drinking too much alcohol for your body to handle.

The best way to treat nausea after drinking is by preventing a hangover in the first place. Drinking less alcohol, at a slower pace, eating before going out, and keeping well hydrated is all that’s required.

Taking Zofran or any other drug to remedy the symptoms only masks the underlying problem.

Zofran for hangovers – Takeaway points

That brings us to the end of our look into Zofran for hangovers.

Zofran is an anti-nausea medication and should, in theory, reduce hangover nausea.

However, it’s not appropriate to use this medication for this reason and it comes with side effects and interactions like any other medication that you should familiarise yourself with.

A better and safer option for hangover nausea is ginger.

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