Compare Zofran vs. dexamethasone

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Zofran (ondansetron)

Prescription only

Decadron (dexamethasone)

Prescription only
Helps prevent nausea and vomiting.

Zofran (ondansetron) works well to prevent nausea and vomiting. It's available in different forms that you don't have to swallow in case you can't keep anything down.

3.6/ 5 average rating with 366 reviewsforZofran
Calms down your immune system.

Decadron (dexamethasone) is a long-acting oral corticosteroid that is very effective in treating allergic reactions and immune conditions, however, if you're taking Decadron (dexamethasone) for a long time, there can be serious side effects.

Upsides
  • Zofran (ondansetron) comes in many different forms that you don't have to swallow, such as a film that goes on the tongue or a dissolving pill.
  • Zofran (ondansetron) is fast-acting and starts working within 30 minutes.
  • Unlike some other nausea medicines, the side effects for Zofran (ondansetron) are relatively mild.
  • Effective in treating many conditions.
  • Can improve energy and appetite.
  • Can control immune responses that are causing you discomfort and works quickly to relieve symptoms like swelling, rash, asthma attacks, and pain.
  • Has long-term benefit in calming down the immune system and keeping it from causing your body harm, such as in autoimmune conditions.
  • Available in generic form.
Downsides
  • Zofran (ondansetron) doesn't treat nausea and vomiting that's already happening. It only works to prevent future episodes.
  • High doses of Zofran (ondansetron) can cause problems with heart rhythm if you're at risk.
  • If you are also taking antidepressants, you are at higher risk of developing a dangerous condition called serotonin syndrome. Talk with your doctor about your risks.
  • Many side effects, particularly with long term use.
  • Side effects include mood changes, trouble sleeping and increase in blood pressure and blood sugar at higher doses.
  • Long-term use can cause problems with skin, bone, eye health and put you at a higher risk for infections.
  • If you've been using corticosteroids for more than 2 weeks, you will need to work with a doctor to get off the medicine slowly.
  • Limited studies conducted with use of steroids during pregnancy or breastfeeding - potential harm to unborn baby.
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Used for
  • Nausea and vomiting due to cancer medicines
  • Prevention of nausea and vomiting due to radiation therapy and after surgery
  • Severe nausea and vomiting in pregnancy
  • Allergies
  • Skin Conditions
  • Endocrine Conditions
  • Eye Conditions
  • Stomach Conditions
  • Respiratory disorder
  • Multiple sclerosis flare
  • Hematologic Conditions
  • Cancer
  • Autoimmune and Rheumatic Conditions
  • Immune thrombocytopenia
  • Acute mountain sickness
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Prevention of nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Disintegrating tablet
  • Liquid
  • Sublingual film
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
366 reviews so far
66%
saidit'sworth it
51%
saiditworked well
15%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
8possible side effects
  • Headache
    9%
  • Oxygen deficiency
    9%
  • Fever
    8%
  • Dizziness
    7%
  • Gynecologic problems
    7%
  • Anxiety
    6%
  • Problems urinating
    5%
  • Itching
    5%
See more detailed side effects
The Decadron (dexamethasone) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Taking antidepressants, lithium, or some migraine medicines with Zofran (ondansetron).
  • Heart rhythm problems
    • History of long QT syndrome
    • Very high doses of Zofran (ondansetron)
    • Taking other medicines causing heart rhythm problems
    • Low magneium or potassium
    • Heart failure
  • Masking of intestinal blockage and stomach bloating
    • Abdominal surgery
    • Chemotherapy
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Lowered adrenal function
    • Lowering dose or stopping too quickly especially after long-term treatment
    • Stress such as trauma, surgery or infection
  • Increased risk for infections
    • Taking other immunosuppressants
    • Long-term treatment
    • Not vaccinated against viral diseases
    • Contact with people who have viral illness
    • History of bacterial or viral conditions
  • Changes in heart and kidney function
    • Recent heart attack
  • Stomach and intestinal problems
    • History of stomach bleeding
    • Active or history of stomach ulcers
    • Ulcerative colitis
    • Taking Decadron (dexamethasone) with other medicine that can cause stomach problems
  • Bone effects
    • Dose of Decadron (dexamethasone)
    • Duration of treatment
  • Eye problems
See more detailed risks and warnings