Nausea is an unpleasant feeling that makes you feel like you want to vomit. There are many different reasons why one experiences nausea and vomiting, but most of the time these can be easily treated. In most cases, you only have to take anti sickness tablets, but it is better not to take any medicine until you have consulted your doctor about your nausea. With proper medical evaluation, your doctor may be able to determine the cause of your nausea and choose the right treatment for you.
How Do Anti Sickness Drugs Work?
Common Causes of Nausea
Before we learn about how anti-sickness drugs work, it is helpful to know what causes nausea and vomiting.
Common causes of nausea include:
medicines like antibiotics, painkillers, and chemotherapy
Other Causes of Nausea
Rare causes include:
tumors in the gut
tumors in the brain
How Anti Sickness Tablets Work
Anti sickness tablets work by:
Blocking the brain’s vomiting center
Blocking gut receptors that trigger the brain center
Directly acting on the stomach, thus increasing its emptying rate
Common Anti-Sickness Drugs
Common Anti-Sickness Medications
Here are some commonly prescribed anti-sickness drugs and how they work. Consult your doctor before taking these drugs.
How They Work
Antihistamines (Cinnarizine, promethazine)
Block histamine (H1) receptors in the brain
Aprepitant and fosaprepitant
Also called neurokinin-1 receptor antagonists, they block a chemical that acts on specific receptors in the body
Directly affect the stomach lining
Darkening of the stools and the tongue (not a serious problem)
Act on the stomach to soothe nausea and vomiting caused by overeating or infection
Swelling of arms, legs, and face Unusual bleeding
Yellowing of eyes and skin.
Contains phosphoric acid and sugar, which may not be suitable for diabetics.
Granisetron, palonosetron, and ondansetron,
Block serotonin (5-HT) in the brain and gut
An antimuscarinic/ anticholinergic medicine that blocks acetylcholine in the brain
Eye problems (blurred vision, loss of visual accommodation, myopi)
Metoclopramide and domperidone
Work directly on the gut by helping the stomach to empty faster when food moves to the gut
(Chlorpromazine, Perphenazine, trifluoperazine)
Block the vomiting center in the brain
Chlorpromazine - drowsiness Perphenazine – restlessness, faintness, vision problems. Trifluoperazine - anxiety, blurred vision, dizziness, drowsiness, sleep problems, headache
Relieve vomiting related to bowel obstruction. Work only for a limited time
Increased blood pressure
This is not a complete list of the side effects. Always consult a doctor for advice on taking these drugs.
Recommended Anti Sickness Drugs for Specific Conditions
List of Recommended Anti Sickness Drugs
Recommended Anti Sickness Drugs
A combination of drugs may be used to control nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy. Some chemotherapy drugs are more likely to cause nausea/ vomiting than others.
For low risk of nausea—metoclopramide or domperidone.
For high risk of nausea—ondansetron, aprepitant, dexamethasone
Most effective drug for motion sickness—hyoscine
Some people prefer promethazine, cinnarizine, or cyclizine because they make them feel sleepy, and they have fewer side effects.
Not effective—domperidone, ondansetron, or metoclopramide
No treatment should be taken unless the symptoms are severe. Safe drugs for mother and baby include promethazine, metoclopramide, or prochlorperazine