Why Were Pregnant Women Prescribed Zofran?

Why were pregnant women prescribed Zofran? Developed by GlaxoSmithKline in 1991, Zofran (also known by the name of Ondansetron) was initially conceived to help cancer patients. Specifically, its main use was to alleviate the nausea that often accompanied chemotherapy but was also used generally after different kinds of surgeries. In fact, this was the use for which it received FDA approval in the early 1990s. It can be taken orally or via injection. Eventually, doctors began to prescribe its use to pregnant women "off-label" to treat morning sickness and other symptoms associated with pregnancy. "Off-label" refers to the use of medications for persons, amounts, or symptoms for which they were not intended or approved. Generally, doctors would prescribe Zofran to pregnant women when other medications had not been effective.

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