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Coping with Nausea and Vomiting From Chemotherapy

Nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy is a common worry. However, these side effects are less common and often less severe than most think. Chemotherapy treatments themselves have become better. There are also many effective treatment for side effects like nausea and vomiting.

You may feel sick a few hours after chemotherapy. Some side effect may be delayed until a few days after treatment. This is still related to treatment. It is important to let your care team know about any side effects you are having.

Antinausea and Antivomiting Drugs

There are several medicines available to prevent or treat nausea and vomiting. They may be given before chemotherapy if there is a higher risk of nausea from treatment. The medicine may be given as pill, injections, patches, or as a suppository.

Examples of medicines include:

Remember that medicine will work differently for different people. Finding the right combination for you can take some time.

Some drugs may not be covered under your current insurance plan. If not, make sure to discuss your options with your care team.

Tips for Coping

In addition to medicine, the following may help to reduce nausea and vomiting:

RESOURCES:

American Cancer Society
https://www.cancer.org

National Cancer Institute
https://www.cancer.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

BC Cancer Agency
http://www.bccancer.bc.ca

Canadian Cancer Society
http://www.cancer.ca

REFERENCES:

Chemotherapy and you. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/chemotherapy-and-you.pdf. Accessed February 12, 2019.

Coping with nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy. Cancer Care website. Available at: https://media.cancercare.org/publications/original/7-ccc_nausea_chemo.pdf. Accessed February 12, 2019.

Managing nausea and vomiting at home. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/physical-side-effects/nausea-and-vomiting/nausea-and-vomiting.html. Updated February 13, 2017. Accessed February 12, 2019.

Medications to prevent and treat nausea and vomiting. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/physical-side-effects/nausea-and-vomiting/nausea-and-vomiting-drugs.html. Updated February 13, 2017. Accessed February 12, 2019.

Toxicities of chemotherapeutic agents. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115935/Toxicities-of-chemotherapeutic-agents. Updated October 23, 2017. Accessed February 12, 2019.

Last reviewed February 2019 by Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD  Last Updated: 2/12/2019