NAUSEA and VOMITING
What is nausea and vomiting?
Nausea is a sick or uncomfortable feeling in the stomach. Vomiting is a strong contraction of the stomach muscles that forces the stomach contents out through the mouth. Nausea can occur without vomiting and vomiting can occur without nausea.
Why would I have problems with nausea and vomiting?
Some chemotherapy drugs can cause nausea or vomiting. Nausea and vomiting may start right after a treatment or be delayed for 8 to 18 hours. These symptoms may last a few hours or up to 2-3 days.
Anxiety or extreme worry can cause nausea or vomiting before a chemotherapy treatment even begins; this is called anticipatory nausea.
Other medications may cause nausea or vomiting, including diethylstilbestrol and pain medications.
Radiation, especially to the abdomen (belly) or pelvis, can cause nausea and vomiting.
Cancer itself can sometimes cause nausea and vomiting.
When should I call my doctor?
Call your doctor if you are worried or have questions about nausea and vomiting.
Call the doctor immediately if you have any of these problems:
What can I do to decrease or prevent nausea and vomiting?
What should I do if I vomit?
Clean your mouth by rinsing with water, brushing your teeth or gargling. Clean your throat by taking a sip or two of water.
Do not eat or drink more than a few sips while you are vomiting and for several hours afterward. Drink small sips of clear liquids when your stomach settles.
Drink liquids instead of eating solid food to let your stomach rest. Try apple juice, clear soups, gelatin water, ginger ale, grape juice, lemon-lime soda, popsicles, or tea. Your stomach may tolerate flat sodas more easily than "fizzy" ones.
Drink more fluids than normal to replace fluid lost when you vomit.
These patient information materials should be used in conjunction with verbal counseling. They are not intended as the sole source of information patients receive about managing cancer therapy complications.
From the Cancer Chemotherapy Manual, © 2001, University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics, Salt Lake City, UT. Published by Facts and Comparisons, St Louis, MO, www.drugfacts.com