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Ondansetron, an antagonist of the serotonin type 3 (5-HT3) receptor, is indicated for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced emesis. This study compares the pharmacokinetics, especially the bioavailability, of an Ondansetron 8-mg solution when administered intravenously, orally, to the colon via nasogastric intubation, and to the rectum using a retention enema. Six healthy, male volunteers received ondansetron infused into the colon during the first treatment period. These subjects then received the remaining three treatments in random order, with a minimum 1-week washout period between treatments. Serial plasma samples were obtained for up to 24 hr after dosing in each treatment period. Absolute bioavailability after the oral dosing, colonic infusion, and rectal administration averaged 71 ± 14, 74 ± 26, and 58 ± 18%, respectively. These values were not significantly different (P > 0.05). Values of Tmax and Cmax were also not significantly different among the nonparenteral routes. Mean absorption half-lives were 0.66, 1.1, and 0.75 hr after the oral, colonic, and rectal administrations, respectively. These results indicate that ondansetron is well absorbed in the intestinal segments studied including the upper small intestine, the colon, and the rectum and that sustained-release and suppository formulations of ondansetron are feasible.