What are antiemetic drugs? Antiemetic drugs are prescribed to help with nausea and vomiting that are side effects of other drugs. This may include drugs for anesthesia used during surgeries or chemotherapy for cancer. Antiemetic drugs are also used for nausea and vomiting caused by: motion sickness severe cases of the stomach flu gastroenteritis other infections These drugs work by interfering with the neurotransmitter receptors involved in vomiting. Neurotransmitters are the cells that receive the signals to send a nerve impulse.
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These drugs still have a risk of side effects, however. Antiemetics for stomach flu Some cases of gastroenteritis , known commonly as the stomach flu , may require antiemetics to relieve symptoms. While vomiting can help get rid of stomach irritants, excessive vomiting can damage the digestive tract.
Nausea may also prevent a person with the stomach flu from eating, even though their body needs nutrients. Antiemetics during pregnancy Pregnant women with morning sickness may use antiemetic drugs to reduce their symptoms. They are usually only prescribed in severe situations, such as if a woman has hyperemesis gravidarum or where nausea and vomiting interfere with everyday life.
A few different medications may work as antiemetics during pregnancy. Doctors will want to discuss any possible side effects of each drug on the mother and baby. Some antiemetics for morning sickness include: dimenhydrinate Dramamine promethazine Pentazine vitamin B-6 Doctors may also prescribe metoclopramide Reglan for women who do not respond well to other treatments.
Using cannabis or marijuana during pregnancy is not safe, as it may affect the developing fetus. Share on Pinterest It is recommended to discuss any potential side effects of antiemetic drugs with a pharmacist or doctor.
Each antiemetic drug may have a specific list of side effects, so a person should be sure to read the information that comes with their particular medication, or ask the pharmacist to go over the side effects with them. Understanding which side effects a person is most sensitive to may help doctors choose the best prescription to treat their symptoms.
Common side effects of each drug type include: Antihistamines: sleepiness, dry mouth , and dry nasal passages Bismuth-subsalicylate: dark, blackish stools and changes in tongue color Cannabinoids: altered state of perception and dizziness Corticosteroids: additional symptoms of indigestion , increased appetite or thirst, and acne Dopamine receptor blockers: fatigue , constipation , ringing in the ears, dry mouth, restlessness, and muscle spasms NK1 receptor blockers: dry mouth, reduced urine volume, and heartburn Serotonin receptor blockers: fatigue, dry mouth, and constipation Each specific medication may have additional side effects as well.
While antiemetic drugs can help people to live without the bothersome symptoms of nausea and vomiting, some complications can occur. Symptoms that should be addressed by a doctor include: muscle weakness, spasms, or convulsions changes in heartbeat, such as palpitations or rapid heartbeat worsening of nausea or vomiting, even while taking medications slurred speech psychological problems, such as hallucinations or confusion drowsiness that interferes with daily life It is best to discuss medications with a doctor before starting any new prescription, especially if a person is taking other drugs.
For instance, people who take sleeping pills or muscle relaxants will need to talk to their doctor before taking over-the-counter antihistamines for nausea and vomiting. Other medications have side effects similar to those caused by antiemetics. Taking more than one of these drugs at the same time may make the side effects worse.
Medications with similar side effects include:.