Undergoing infusion or injection treatments mean you’re able to receive the medication you need, but it can also be hard on your body. One side effect of these treatments can be nausea.
To help manage this, your doctor and infusion provider may recommend popular anti-nausea medications, including Compazine and Zofran. They both work but some key differences may impact their effectiveness. Read more to understand the differences between these medications better.
What is the Difference Between Compazine and Zofran?
If you are dealing with nausea, you could be prescribed Compazine or Zofran. While Zofran is typically used to treat nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy or following surgery, Compazine is used for anxiety, schizophrenia, or other mental health disorders. Because Compazine can cause serious side effects, it is generally not the first response doctors will use for nausea.
What is Zofran?
Zofran (ondansetron) is a selective 5-HT3 receptor antagonist. It is used as an antiemetic, which means it helps to treat nausea and vomiting. Often, doctors prescribe Zofran for nausea related to surgeries or chemotherapy.
Like Compazine, Zofran is available as a generic medication. Along with post-surgery nausea and chemotherapy, it can treat radiation-related nausea. If you can’t swallow something or keep throwing up your medication, you can take it in a different form.
Unlike Compazine, Zofran generally doesn’t cause major side effects. It isn’t recommended if you’re currently taking antidepressants. If you are on an antidepressant, it can cause you to develop serotonin syndrome, which can be extremely dangerous.
Zofran Side Effects
When you take Zofran for nausea, you generally won’t have to deal with any major side effects. On occasion, people have reported serotonin syndrome or heart rhythm problems. In severe cases, the drug can mask stomach bloating and intestinal blockage.
Some patients have reported severe allergic reactions and higher levels of phenylalanine. Fortunately, the most common side effects are generally quite minor. The most common side effects patients experience are headaches, constipation, body discomfort, tiredness, and diarrhea.
What is Compazine?
Compazine (prochlorperazine) is used to alleviate severe nausea and treat mental illness.
Compazine is typically used as a secondary, supplemental treatment in cases of severe and persistent nausea. It’s been used for a long time but can have serious side effects and therefore is not generally recommended as the first course of treatment.
Once you take Compazine for nausea, it generally takes effect in just 30 minutes. Afterward, the effects can last for up to four hours.
Compazine Side Effects
When comparing Compazine vs Zofran, it’s important to consider the side effects first. Compazine’s side effects can be severe and sometimes permanent. After taking it, you may experience falls, uncontrolled muscle movements, and sleepiness.
Along with these serious side effects, you may also suffer from anxiety, dizziness, strange dreams, blurred vision, and a stuffy nose. Some people develop swelling in their extremities, constipation, weight gain, and dry mouth. Itching, skin rashes, low blood pressure, and headaches are also possible.
Zofran vs Compazine for Nausea and Vomiting
When comparing Compazine vs Zofran, it is important to talk to your doctor about your medical history and overall expectations. In general, Zofran is a more common choice for treating nausea from chemotherapy, radiation, and surgeries. It carries fewer side effects, which makes it a more comfortable treatment option.
In addition to having more side effects, Compazine for nausea carries worse side effects as well. Patients are more likely to experience a seizure, liver problems, neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), and uncontrolled muscle movements. Among older adults who have dementia-related psychosis, it can increase the likelihood of dying.
For all of these reasons, it is important to immediately talk to your doctor if you experience any side effects. You should also discuss any concerns you have about your medication before you take it.
Can You Take Compazine and Zofran Together?
Yes, you can take Compazine and Zofran at the same time. When patients experience severe nausea, they may be prescribed both drugs. Normally, a doctor will have the patient alternate between these two drugs, so at least one medication is always functioning to prevent nausea and vomiting.
You should never take these medications together unless your doctor tells you to. When Compazine and Zofran are used at the same time, it makes an irregular heartbeat more likely. While this is a rare side effect, it can potentially become life-threatening.
You are more likely to suffer from this side effect if you have congenital long QT syndrome or other cardiac ailments. If you experience shortness of breath, lightheadedness, dizziness, or heart palpitations, you should immediately call your doctor or the infusion treatment center right away.
Learning the Difference Between Compazine and Zofran
At Infusion for Health, our top priority is the care and comfort of our patients. That includes ensuring you understand prescriptions like Compazine vs Zofran and that you feel confident in your treatment plan. Infusion for Health can also help you learn about ways to mitigate nausea during your infusion.
To discover more information about our services, you can reach out to us directly or ask your doctor to refer you to one of our treatment centers.