Antiemetics to prevent nausea and vomiting

Today, we have different medications that they are effective in preventing nausea and vomiting of different origin. They are called antiemetics.

It is important to differentiate both terms. Nausea is an unpleasant sensation in the throat and stomach that often precedes vomiting.. It is usually accompanied by other symptoms such as paleness, sweating, excessive salivation and, sometimes, a decrease in blood pressure and the number of beats per minute.

After the nausea, the arcades take place, which is the effort itself to vomit. It involves strong contractions of the abdominal wall muscles. They aim to create the pressure necessary to vomit.

Arcades can occur with vomiting, precede or follow. Finally, vomiting, known clinically as emesis, is the rapid and energetic emptying or expulsion of gastric contents. Sometimes, intestinal content is also expelled.

What are antiemetic drugs?

As the name implies, antiemetic medications they are the ones used to prevent nausea and vomiting. They are usually indicated to treat motion sickness and the side effects of the following pharmacological groups:

Antiemetics They are divided into different groups depending on the mechanism of action they present. In this way, they will be effective in different situations, depending on the cause that is triggering the nausea and vomiting.

In this sense, we will see the most used antiemetics in order to prevent nausea and vomiting that have different origins.

Read also: 6 herbal remedies that help you stop nausea

Antiemetics to prevent nausea and vomiting

Antiemetics for pregnancy

Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy affect about 80% of women. As usual, They are mild and usually resolve by week 20 of pregnancy.

The clinical evidence on the treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum is very limited. In addition, in most cases, studies have been performed on patients who have these symptoms in the mildest form.

In this sense, in Spain only doxylamine is authorized as an antiemetic to prevent nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. It is an antiemetic antagonist of histamine H1 receptors, marketed under the name of Cariban.

As a second line, metoclopramide is usually given, a dopamine antagonist. However, this drug should not be administered more than 5 days, at a dose of 10 mg up to three times a day. Ondasetron is also administered as the second line. And, as a third line, methylprednisolone is indicated, adjusting the dose to the minimum effective.

Antiemetics for chemotherapy

Certain drugs used to fight cancer can cause nausea and vomiting. Fortunately now There are many medications that are effective in preventing and relieving nausea and vomiting. associated with chemotherapy.

Between the most used antiemetics For these cases we find:

  • Corticosteroids: They have been used successfully for many years, especially to prevent delayed nausea and vomiting. An example of these drugs is dexamethasone, which can be administered in many different forms.
  • Serotonin antagonists: block the natural substances that send the vomit signal to the brain. They prevent both acute and delayed nausea and vomiting. Some of the most used are ondasetron, granisetron and dolasetron.
  • NK-1 inhibitors: They are the newest. Aprepitant is used when patients receive chemotherapy that is very likely to cause acute or delayed nausea and vomiting. It is taken before a chemotherapy session and for two days after.

Discover: Effects of chemotherapy on the body

Antiemetics for dizziness or motion sickness

Dizziness that appears on travel is also called motion sickness. It is defined as the appearance of nausea, vomiting and symptoms produced by linear and angular acceleration and deceleration in a repeated way.

To reduce the symptoms, it is recommended to take a drug that depresses the maze's reactivity. Thus, the recommendations are:

  • For an adult: 2 hours before the trip, take 30 mg of the antiemetic cinnarizine. The dose can be repeated every 8 hours. It can also be administered between 50 and 100 mg of dimenhydrate (Biodramina) that can be repeated every 6 or 8 hours.
  • Children: The dose should be adjusted according to the labeling of each medication and the use of tiethylperazine is not recommended.

Conclusion on how to prevent nausea and vomiting

Luckily, currently We have a wide therapeutic range to prevent nausea and vomiting They have different origin. Ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions you have about these medications to perform the treatment well and improve the therapeutic efficacy that these antiemetics offer.