Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

A study to evaluate the effect of ondansetron on psychomotor performance after repeated oral dosing in healthy subjects

  • 21 Accesses

  • 15 Citations


The aim of the study was to determine the effect of repeated oral administration of ondansetron, a 5-hydroxytryptamine type 3 (5-HT3) receptor antagonist, on psychomotor performance. The study was of a randomised, double-blind, four-way, cross-over design in 12 healthy subjects, with 1 mg and 8 mg ondansetron, placebo and 2 mg lorazepam evaluated. Each subject received five administrations per treatment period. Ondansetron, 1 mg and 8 mg, and placebo were given as twice daily dosing for 2 1/2 days. Lorazepam was administered as a 2 mg single oral dose which was taken as the fifth administration; placebo was given for the remaining four doses. Within each treatment period, subjects underwent a baseline (pre-dose) assessment of psychomotor performance using four commonly used and validated psychomotor tests, and were then re-assessed after the fifth and final dose over a 7-h, post-dose period. Following dosing with lorazepam, statistically significant changes were seen in five of the six test variables compared with placebo. Ondansetron, at both the 1 mg and the 8 mg doses, did not produce a statistically significant effect on any measure of psychomotor performance compared with placebo.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Blackwell CP, Harding SM (1989) The clinical pharmacology of ondansetron. Eur J Cancer Clin Oncol 25 [Suppl 1]:S21-S24

  2. Butler A, Hill JM, Ireland SJ, Jordan CC, Tyers MB (1988) Pharmacological properties of GR38032F, a novel antagonist at 5-HT3 receptors. Br J Pharmacol 94:397–412

  3. Costall B, Domeney AM, Kelly ME, Naylor RJ, Tyers MB (1987) The antipsychotic potential of GR38032F, a selective antagonist of 5-HT3 receptors in the central nervous system. Br J Pharmacol 90:89P

  4. Hindmarch I (1980) Psychomotor function and psychoactive drugs. Br J Clin Pharmacol 10:189–209

  5. Hindmarch I (1982) Critical flicker fusion frequency (CFFF): the effects of psychotropic compounds. Pharmacopsychiatria 15 [Suppl 1]:44–48

  6. Hindmarch I, Ott H (1988) Psychopharmacology series 6. Benzodiazepine receptor ligands, memory and information processing, 1st edn. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York

  7. Hindmarch I, Parrott AC (1978a) Clobazam, a 1,5-benzodiazepine derivative: effects upon human psychomotor performance under different levels of task reinforcement. Arch Int Pharmacodyn Ther 232 [Suppl 2]:261–268

  8. Hindmarch I, Parrott AC (1978b) The effects of sub-chronic administration of three dose levels of 1,5-benzodiazepine, clobazam, on subjective aspects of sleep and psychomotor performance the morning after night-time medication. Arzneimittelforschung 28 [Suppl 2]:2169–2172

  9. Hindmarch I, Subhan Z (1983) The effects of midazolam in conjunction with alcohol on sleep, psychomotor performance and car driving ability. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res 5 [Suppl 5]:323–329

  10. Hindmarch I, Subhan Z, Stoker MJ (1983) The effects of zimeldine and amitriptyline on car driving and psychomotor performance. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 68:141–146

  11. Jones BJ, Oakley NB, Tyers MB (1987) The anxiolytic activity of GR38032F, a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist in the rat and cynomolgus monkey. Br J Pharmacol 90:88P

  12. Marty M (1989) Ondansetron in the prophylaxis of acute cisplatin-induced nausea and vomiting. Eur J Cancer Clin Oncol 25 [Suppl 1]:S41-S45

  13. Matthews JNF, Altman DG, Campbell MJ, Royston P (1990) The analysis of serial measurements in medical research. Br Med J 300:230–235

  14. Preston GC, Broks P, Traub M, Poppleton P, Stahl SM (1988) Effects of lorazepam on memory, attention and sedation in man. Psychopharmacology 95:208–215

  15. Priestman TJ (1989) Clinical studies with ondansetron in the control of radiation-induced emesis. Eur J Cancer Clin Oncol 25 [Suppl 1]:S29–S33

  16. Schmoll H-J (1989) The role of ondansetron in the treatment of emesis induced by non-cisplatin-containing chemotherapy regimens. Eur J Cancer Clin Oncol 25 [Suppl 1]:S35-S39

  17. Sternberg S (1966) High speed scanning in human memory. Science 153:652–654

  18. Sternberg S (1975) Memory scanning: new findings and current controversies. QJ Exp Psychol 27:1–32

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hall, S.T., Ceuppens, P.R. A study to evaluate the effect of ondansetron on psychomotor performance after repeated oral dosing in healthy subjects. Psychopharmacology 104, 86–90 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02244559

Download citation

Key words

  • Ondansetron
  • Lorazepam
  • Psychomotor performance
  • Healthy subjects