What is an antiemetic drug?
Antiemetic drugs are those which are effective against vomiting and nausea. They are typically used to treat motion sickness and side effects of opioids, analgesics, general anesthetics, and chemotherapy.
They block serotonin receptors in the CNS and gastrointestinal tract, acting on the brain stem as well as boost other drugs used in combination, affecting postrema and vomiting center in the vestibular nucleus. Patients unresponsive to other drugs can also be put on these drugs.
- Persistent vomiting and nausea
- Abdominal pain
- Discoloration of skin
- Weakness and numbness
- Viral infection
- Food poisoning
- Motion sickness
- Inner ear problems
- An emotional or fearful situation
- Brain tumor
Common antiemetic medications
Some antiemetic drugs are taken as tablets while others are available as an injection or a patch places on the body. Drugs are taken depending on the reason causing symptoms.
Motion sickness – These types of antiemetics are available over the counter (OCT).
Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine Gravol), Meclizine (Bonine)
Stomach flu – Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto Bismol), OCT - glucose, fructose, phosphoric (Emetrol).
Chemotherapy - Dolasetron (Anzemet), Palonosetron, Olanzapine (Zyprexa), Rolapitant (Varubhi).
Surgery – Metoclopramide (Reglan), Droperidol (Inapsine).
Morning sickness – Dimenhydrinate, Promethazine
Antiemetic side effects
- Dry mouth
- Decreased urination
- Increased acne
- Increased thirst and appetite.
- Drink clear water better iced.
- Eat light food
- Avoid excess junk food.
- Eat slowly infrequent meals.
- Don't mix hot and cold foods.
- Avoid hyperactivity after food.
- Checking medical history
- Physical exams – blood pressure testing, abdominal examination, pregnancy test, neurological examinations.
- Electrolyte and kidney functioning
- Albumin tests
- Gastric emptying tests
- Gastroduodenal manometry
- Autonomic function testing
It depends on lifestyle, if there are frequent unhealthy habits, it might repeat.
- Is nausea related only to gastrointestinal problems?
No, there are various causes of nausea like pregnancy, chemotherapy, strong antibiotics.
- What is morning sickness?
Women feel nausea in the morning during pregnancy is called morning sickness.
- Are medications necessary to treat nausea?
If once or twice, electrolyte solutions can treat it; however, the excess may lead to weakness and may need doctor consultancy.