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Nausea medications are available as OTC (over-the-counter) and prescribed products. These medications are used to ease vomiting and wooziness that come with nausea.

Medically, nausea is not a disease, but merely a symptom that shows there is something wrong with the body. The most common causes of nausea are motion sickness and morning sickness (which occurs during pregnancy), while indigestion, diarrhea, heartburn, and migraine could worsen nausea.

How To Treat Nauesa

Nausea might be treated with some herbal and home remedies, and these should always be the first thing you try, before medications. Drink some water, clear carbonated drinks, or ginger ale, they might help with nausea. It may be helpful to eat only liquid for a while or just some dry crackers and avoid solid and greasy food.

In cases of indigestion-induced nausea the best way to calm the stomach is to drink some chamomile or green tea. Dried or crystallized ginger is good to chew when feeling nauseous. Indian gooseberries are also believed to help with nausea, and any form of these berries would be good.

Perhaps the best way to relieve nausea is to vomit when feeling nauseous.

The Best Prescription Medications for Nausea

There are several prescription medications used for nausea.

Alka-Seltzer is mainly used for nausea caused by acid reflux and indigestion problems. The bubbles formed by the use of this medication are pushing the acid into the stomach and relieve nausea.

Pepto Bismol is useful if nausea is connected with diarrhea.

When dealing with motion sickness and vertigo-induced nausea the right medication is Dramamine. The side effect is heavy dizziness, which is why there’s an improved version of this tablet, containing meclizine.

Diphenhydramine is the most popular medication for nausea treatment, recommended for both allergies and nausea. However, it shouldn’t be used for children under the age of 6.

Cyclizine is an antihistamine medication, proven effective in nausea treatment. It also causes dizziness as a side effect but the positive side is that this medication can be used for children older than 2 years.

Phenergan is the drug used to treat allergies and motion in sickness-induced nausea.

Nausea and vomiting (N/V) are common symptoms encountered in medicine. While most cases of acute N/V related to a specific cause can be straightforward to manage, other cases of acute N/V such as chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) and especially chronic unexplained nausea and vomiting (CUNV) can be difficult to control, leading to a significant decline in the patient’s quality of life and increased cost of medical care from repeated hospitalizations.
  • Nausea and vomiting may occur together or independent of each other and this may be due to differing pathophysiologic mechanisms. Newer antiemetic agents like the 5-Hydroxytryptamine 3 (5-HT3) and Neurokinin 1 (NK1) receptor antagonists, while being very effective for vomiting, are less satisfactory for the management of nausea.
  • Historically nausea and vomiting have been thought to be a continuum of the same pathophysiologic mechanism caused by similar stimuli and involving the same neural circuits but of a varying intensity and or duration. However, the two symptoms can occur independently of each other. Thus, nausea and vomiting have traditionally been studied together and it has been expected that management of one would effectively manage the other.
  • Dopamine is involved in emesis by stimulating the CTZ. A variety of dopamine receptors have been identified in the nucleus tractus solitarius and the area postrema. Inhibition of the dopaminergic D2 receptors in the area postrema inhibits vomiting.
  • Prochlorperazine (Phenergan) is the most commonly used HRA to treat N/V. Other drugs in this class include diphenhydramine (Benadryl), cyclizine (Cyclivert), dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), doxylamine (in combination with pyridoxine in nausea of pregnancy), and meclizine (Bonnine). These agents work by blocking the histamine (H1) receptors in the emetic area.
  • Muscarinic receptor activity is involved in generation of emetic signals in the emetic center. A commonly used antimuscarinic agent is Hyoscine (scopolamine); a belladonna alkaloid which is available in the US as parenteral and transdermal forms.
  • Trimethobenzamide (Tigan) is an antiemetic with unknown exact mechanism of action, but which acts centrally to directly inhibit the medullary chemoreceptor trigger zone by blocking emetic impulses to the vomiting center.
  • The discovery of the first 5HT3 antagonist, Ondansetron, in the 1980s ushered in a new era in the treatment of CINV. The highly emetogenic side effects of chemotherapeutic agents like cisplatin, which was only partially controlled by available antiemetic agents like DRA, was significantly more controlled with Ondansetron.
  • Serotonin receptors of the 5HT4 family play one of the key roles in the serotonin effects on the GI tract functioning. Research has shown that activation of the 5HT4 receptors of the stomach and intestine stimulates the peristaltic reflex and secretion.
  • In the early 2000s NK1 blockers were introduced in clinical practice and proved to be extremely useful in the management of CINV, though also were effective in PONV. In CINV NK1RA have proved beneficial in the delayed phase N/V where 5HT3RA are less effective.
  • Due to the lack of approved agents research has continued exploring a number of molecular targets which can help accelerate GI motility. One such target, Ghrelin, is an amino acid peptide and neurohumoral transmitter, which functions as a natural ligand for the grehlin or growth hormone secretagogue (GHS-1a) receptor.
  • Structurally similar to ghrelin, motilin is a peptide that is synthesized and released in the duodenum and jejunum, with smaller amounts in the gastric antrum, during fasting and post-prandial phases. While fasting motilin is released in association with phase III of the Motor Migrating Complex.
  • Pterins are cyclic compounds all derived from guanosine triphosphate (GTP). GTP can be metabolized to tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4), which is a cofactor in the production of monoamine neurotransmitters and nitric oxide and can be oxidized to potent antioxidants such as dihydrobiopterin and biopterin.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) have been associated with moderate symptom reduction in chronic nausea and vomiting related to functional disorders such as cyclical vomiting syndrome and chronic functional nausea.
✓ Fact confirmed: Nausea and Vomiting in 2021: A Comprehensive Update Matthew Heckroth, R. Tyler Luckett, Chris Moser, Dipendra Parajuli, and Thomas L. Abell; 2021 Apr 1

Final Thoughts

Nausea medications, prescribed or OTC, only treat nausea symptoms, and don’t deal with the disease that caused nausea in the first place. Therefore, if the nausea is persistent or you have nausea often, do visit your doctor. He would diagnose the cause of nausea and treat it properly.

If some foods are making you nauseous you must pay close attention to what you eat.

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