Ondansetron for Opiate Withdrawal

What Is Ondansetron?

Ondansetron is a generic drug available under the brand name Zofran. Ondansetron is available in the form of a disintegrating tablet, solution, film and an IV variation. The tablet is most commonly administered to patients to prevent nausea and vomiting. For the most part, ondansetron is used for nausea and vomiting relating to medical treatments including chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. It’s classified as an antiemetic. Antiemetics are a class of drugs that reduce nausea and vomiting. Ondansetron is believed to work by blocking serotonin release in the central nervous system and the stomach, preventing serotonin from causing nausea and vomiting.

There are side effects of ondansetron including drowsiness, headache, and diarrhea. This medication may also cause constipation and dizziness. One of the most serious side effects of ondansetron is serotonin syndrome, although this is rare. People are advised against combining ondansetron with other medications affecting serotonin levels for this reason. There is some evidence ondansetron for opiate withdrawal could be useful, but why is that?

Ondansetron for Opiate Withdrawal
Opioids and opiates can include naturally derived substances like morphine, as well as hydrocodone and oxycodone. Heroin is also an opioid. These drugs are not only psychologically addictive but also lead to physical dependence. When someone is physically dependent on opioids or opiates, and they stop taking the drugs, they can become very sick. The body has adapted to the presence of drugs after a point, which can be as short as a few weeks. When the substance is taken away, the body has to readjust. Opiate withdrawal symptoms vary from mild to severe. The severity and length of symptoms depend on factors like how long someone used opioids and how heavily. The symptoms are the result of the body trying to go back to a normal state of functionality. Along with drug cravings, other symptoms can include fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, depression, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Withdrawal symptoms continue as the body goes through the process of cleansing itself from opiates. Withdrawal from some substances, including alcohol, can be deadly. Opiate withdrawal generally isn’t life-threatening, but it is uncomfortable and complications are possible. While most of the physical symptoms of opiate withdrawal end within a week, some can linger for weeks or months. Psychological symptoms tend to last longer, especially for people who have misused opiates long-term. For example, a person may experience anxiety and depression even months after abstaining from opioids. The benefit of a medically-supervised detox program is the ability to better manage symptoms. This includes mental and physical side effects of opiate withdrawal. Some medications ease a person through detox and prevent complications as well as raise the chance of achieving long-term successful recovery.
While opiate withdrawal isn’t life-threatening in most cases, nausea and vomiting can lead to complications. Aspiration is possible, which occurs when vomiting and then inhaling stomach contents causes lung infection. Vomiting and diarrhea can also cause dehydration. Ondansetron for opiate withdrawal can be useful in reducing nausea and vomiting. Ondansetron is not psychologically addictive, unlike other medications used for opiate withdrawal, so it doesn’t lead to replacing one addiction or drug dependence with another. Ondansetron for opiate withdrawal may also help with insomnia since drowsiness is a major side effect. While ondansetron for opiate withdrawal can be helpful, it’s not a cure-all for addiction. Ondansetron is a medication that can deal with some of the physical symptoms of opiate dependence. Addiction is separate from dependence. Treating withdrawal symptoms is only one part of a larger, more comprehensive treatment approach. Another important consideration when discussing ondansetron for opiate withdrawal is attempting to self-medicate. The best course of action for opiate withdrawal is professional treatment. Attempting to self-medicate through detox can be dangerous or deadly. If you’re struggling with opioid dependence or addiction, please call The Recovery Village. We offer a variety of national detox and treatment programs that are individualized, specialized and can improve your chances of eliminating substance use disorder from your life.
Ondansetron for Opiate Withdrawal
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