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Vomiting Treatments: How To Make It Stop and When To Get Help

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Updated July 07, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

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Treating Vomiting with Medications

Sometimes, even when you follow all of the proper steps to help control your vomiting, it just won't stop. When this happens, you may need medication to help control it.

There are two prescription medications available to help control vomiting. Depending on your situation, your healthcare provider may decide that one of them will help you feel better. They may be used to prevent dehydration or help you get rehydrated if dehydration has already occurred.

Phenergan (promethazine)

Phenergan is a prescription antihistamine that can also be used to control nausea and vomiting. It is not often used in children because one of the side effects is extreme drowsiness.

Zofran

Zofran was developed to treat severe nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy. It has fewer side effects than Phenergan and is now frequently used to treat vomiting from illness as well.

OTC Meds

There are also over the counter medications that are marketed to treat "upset stomach" such as Pepto-Bismol and Kaopectate. These medications coat the lining of the stomach, but are unlikely to stop vomiting if you have a stomach virus. They should never be given to children under the age of 12 or anyone under the age of 18 who has recently had the flu or chickenpox due to the chance of developing Reye's Syndrome.

If you are unable to control your vomiting using the first four steps outlined in this guide, contact your healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan for you. You will most likely need to be seen so you can be checked for dehydration and to determine what is causing your uncontrolled vomiting. If your healthcare provider decides that you need medication, he or she will be able to tell you which one is best for your situation.

Sources:

"Antiemetic Medicines:OTC Relief for Nausea and Vomiting." Familydoctor.org Jan 11. American Academy of Family Physicians. 3 Aug 11.

"Nausea and Vomiting." Medline Plus 06 July 11. US National Library of Medicine. 03 Aug 11.

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