Ondansetron does not prevent physical dependence in patients taking opioid medications chronically for pain control. Drug and alcohol dependence Chu, L. F., Rico, T., Cornell, E., Obasi, H., Encisco, E. M., Vertelney, H., Gamble, J. G., Crawford, C. W., Sun, J., Clemenson, A., Erlendson, M. J., Okada, R., Carroll, I., Clark, J. D. 2018; 183: 176–83

Abstract

In this study, we investigated the co-administration of ondansetron with morphine, and whether it could prevent the development of physical dependence in patients taking opioids for the treatment of chronic pain.A total of 48 chronic back pain patients (N?=?48) participated in this double-blinded, placebo-controlled, randomized study. Patients were titrated onto sustained-release oral morphine and randomized to take 8?mg ondansetron or placebo three times daily concurrently with morphine during the 30-day titration. Following titration, patients underwent Naloxone induced opioid withdrawal. Opioid withdrawal signs and symptoms were then assessed by a blinded research assistant (objective opioid withdrawal score: OOWS) and by the research participant (subjective opioid withdrawal score: SOWS).We observed clinically significant signs of naloxone-precipitated opioid withdrawal in all participants (?OOWS?=?4.3?±?2.4, p?

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