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Evaluate Your Vomiting

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Updated April 18, 2013

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Medications for Vomiting

There are a few medications available to treat nausea and vomiting. Over-the-counter medications for vomiting are typically ineffective, but may help with nausea or an "upset stomach."

Some common medications include:

  • Pepto Bismol, Kaopectate (bismuth subsalicylate)

    Works by protecting the stomach lining. Do not use this medication if you are allergic to it. Do not combine with aspirin. Also, it should never be given to someone under the age of 12 or to someone under the age of 18 who has the chickenpox or the flu, due to the risk of developing Reye's Syndrome.

  • Dramamine

    Although it is an antihistamine (anti-allergy medication), Dramamine is commonly used to treat nausea and vomiting that is caused by motion sickness.

A few prescription medications are available to help with severe nausea and vomiting.

These include:

  • Zofran (ondansetron)

    Originally developed and used to treat severe nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, Zofran is used to treat uncontrolled vomiting in adults and children.

  • Phenergan (promethazine)

    Phenergan is also an antihistamine, but is frequently used to treat nausea and vomiting. It may also be used as a pain reliever or to make a person fall asleep prior to surgery.

Both of these medications are available by prescription only. Most health care providers will not prescribe them over the phone. It is important to be seen by your health care provider before taking one of these medications. Only they can determine if the medication is appropriate for you and your illness. They will also be able to rule out more serious causes of your vomiting.

Sources:

"Nausea and Vomiting." Medline Plus 28 Mar 11. National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health. 22 Jun 11.

"Antiemetic Medicines: OTC Relief for Nausea and Vomiting." FamilyDoctor.org Jan 11. American Academy of Family Physicians. 23 Jun 11.

"Infant Vomiting." Healthy Children 11 Aug 10. American Academy of Pediatrics. 23 Jun 11.

"Nausea and Vomiting." Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research 14 May 11. 23 Jun 11.

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