We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Is It Safe to Take Ondansetron in Pregnancy?

Autumn Rivers
By
Updated Feb 16, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Some women take ondansetron in pregnancy to control morning sickness. Classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a Pregnancy Category B drug, it is generally considered safe for easing nausea in pregnancy. It should, however, only be taken when necessary, such as when the woman is not able to keep food down because of extreme nausea. In such cases, any possible negative effects of ondansetron are typically considered better than the harm that may come to the fetus if it does not get the appropriate nutrients from the mother. For this reason, pregnant women are encouraged to discuss the pros and cons with their doctor before taking this drug.

Ondansetron is classified as a Pregnancy Category B drug because, as of 2011, no controlled studies have been completed with pregnant women. Researchers have, however, run studies on animals to find out the effects of ondansetron in pregnancy. According to the results, this drug has not caused harmful effects on animal fetuses. That being said, animals do not always respond to drugs the same way humans do, which is why it is difficult to say for sure that ondansetron in pregnancy will not harm the fetus. With that in mind, doctors will not offer this drug unless they are sure their pregnant patients need it for health reasons.

The main reason many doctors still prescribe ondansetron despite a lack of studies involving humans is that the small chance of negative effects is often better than the alternative. For example, some women suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum during pregnancy, which means they may throw up almost everything they eat. Women affected by this condition cannot typically keep fluids down, either, which poses a risk of dehydration. This, combined with the lack of nutrients caused by vomiting most foods, can severely harm both the mother and the fetus. Dehydration and malnourishment are both known for being harmful, while ondansetron in pregnancy has no known harmful effects, so taking the latter is usually considered the best option.

Most women taking ondansetron in pregnancy only need it for the first trimester, when they are most likely to suffer from morning sickness. Some women, however, need it for the entire pregnancy. In such cases, their doctor will likely reevaluate the situation at each prenatal appointment to determine whether the benefits of ondansetron in pregnancy still outweigh the possible risks. Most women cease to need this drug once the pregnancy ends, which is likely a good thing for breastfeeding mothers, because it is unknown whether the medicine passes through breast milk.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Autumn Rivers
By Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers, a talented writer for WiseGeek, holds a B.A. in Journalism from Arizona State University. Her background in journalism helps her create well-researched and engaging content, providing readers with valuable insights and information on a variety of subjects.
Discussion Comments
Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers, a talented writer for WiseGeek, holds a B.A. in Journalism from Arizona State University. Her background in journalism helps her create well-researched and engaging content, providing readers with valuable insights and information on a variety of subjects.
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.