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An antiemetic is a drug that is used against nausea and vomiting. It is mainly used to treat motion sickness. Motion sickness occurs when you are traveling in a vehicle and one part of your body organ (eye, ear or sensory nerves) feels body movement but the other does not. The kind of body discomfort may also happen if you are worried about having an attack if you have just eaten a big meal before traveling long distance if the air is stuffy or filled with fumes and so on.

Antiemetic treatment is also applied in case of side effects that happen because of general anaesthetics, opioid analgesics and chemotherapy. In case of severe cases of gastroenteritis if the patient is dehydrated than Antiemetic drug are used.

Causes of Nausea and vomiting

Nausea is a feeling of uneasiness of the stomach that comes before vomiting. Vomiting on the other hand refers to voluntary or involuntary emptying of stomach contents through the mouth. Vomiting and Nausea are not diseases but symptoms of many conditions such as:

  • Motion sickness or seasickness which may be caused because the organ of balance inner ear gets affected
  • Early stages of pregnancy
  • Intense pain
  • Medication-induced vomiting
  • Food poisoning
  • Emotional stress
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Heart attack
  • Infections such as stomach flu
  • Overeating
  • Brain tumour
  • A reaction to certain smells or odours
  • Concussion or brain injury
  • Ulcers
  • Illnesses
  • Some forms of cancer
  • Bulimia or other psychological
  • Gastroparesis
  • Excessive amounts of alcohol

Signs and Symptoms

Antiemetic symptoms are very difficult for people to describe. It can be related to uncomfortable feelings that are felt in upper abdomen, chest or back of the throat region. Nausea can also be associated with several signs and symptoms such as:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Gas
  • Diarrhoea
  • Light-headedness
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • A general feeling of being sick to one's stomach.
  • Abdominal pain

Preventive measures

There are several ways to prevent nausea and vomiting such as:

  • Eat small meals throughout the day instead of three large meals.
  • Eat slowly.
  • Consume foods that are cold or room temperature if you feel nauseated by the smell of warm or hot foods.
  • Avoid hard-to-digest foods.
  • Rest after eating with your head elevated about 12 inches above your feet.
  • Try to eat when you feel less nauseated.
  • Do not go empty stomach for long periods of time
  • Drink liquids between meals rather than during meals.
  • To prevent motion sickness in a car it is best to face the front windshield as fast movement out the side windows can make one feel nauseated.
  • When travelling with children avoid playing video games or reading in car as it may result in motion sickness
  • Prevent the kids from eating and playing at the same time
  • When travelling open a source of fresh air if possible
  • Watch your consumption of drinks, food and alcohol before travelling.
  • Isolate yourself from those who may be suffering from motion sickness as it may make you feel nauseated.

Myths and facts:

Diagnosis of disease

If the patient continues to feel nauseated and has vomiting tendencies than he should go for proper diagnosis.

While diagnosing nausea and vomiting, doctor may be interested to know about your medical history. After that laboratory tests and several other tests are conducted by your doctor to find out the root cause for vomiting and nausea.

Vomiting on a regular basis can indicate serious health problems such as intestinal obstruction, gall bladder inflammation, peptic ulcer disease complications from diabetes, acute hepatitis, acute gastroenteritis, cancer, meningitis, stomach flu and so on. The above conditions are also accompanied by fever and aches.

Treatment for Nausea and vomiting

In simple cases of vomiting, it will stop on its own after the contents of the stomach have been expelled. For older children and healthy adults simple cases of vomiting do not need further treatment. However, ever when vomiting is on a persistent basis treatment should be done.

Treatment of vomiting and nausea include:

  • Drinking large amount of clear liquid at regular intervals
  • Avoiding solid food until you are done with vomiting completely
  • If diarrhoea and vomiting last for more than 24 hours, ORS should be used to prevent and treat dehydration.
  • Pregnant women who experience morning sickness can eat crackers before starting their day. They can also go for high protein snack before going to bed.
  • There is a drug therapy to treat vomiting that is associated with cancer.
  • Non prescription and prescription drugs such as antiemetic drug can also be utilized to control vomiting associated with motion sickness, pregnancy and other form of dizziness. However, before taking any medicine you should consult your doctor and get appropriate tests done in order to identify the underlying cause.

Side effects of antiemetic medicines

Healthy adults usually do not experience any side effects after taking antiemetic medicine. However, the most common side effects include:

  • Darkened stools or tongue
  • Ringing sound in the ears
  • Constipation
  • Taking the medicine can make you feel sleepy
  • Inability of operate machines or drive
  • Inability to think clearly
  • Dry feeling in eyes and mouth

Important things to know

There are certain important things that you should know to combat nausea and vomiting:

  • You must eat meals at proper times without prolong gaps so that feeling of nausea and vomiting do not arise.
  • Try leading less stressful life.
  • Do exercise and meditation to lead a peaceful life and use acupuncture if feeling nauseated at time.
  • Take proper rest and take adequate breaks between works.
  • Get out from stuff environment as and when you can and get some fresh air to avoid feeling nauseated.
  • Avoid heavy and spicy meals at night and then do not go to bed immediately this will cause indigestion and will make you nauseated the next day.
  • Drink some soda to get relief from nausea.
  • If you are pregnant or if you suffer from motion sickness than you should carry medicine that will combat nausea.

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