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Antiemetic drugs

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An anti-emetic is a drug that is effective against vomiting and nausea. Anti-emetics are typically used to treat motion sickness and the side effects of opioid analgesics, general anaesthetics and chemotherapy directed against cancer.

Anti-emetics include:

  • Steroids
    • Dexamethasone given in low dose at the onset of a general anaesthetic for surgery is an effective anti-emetic. The specific mechanism of action is not fully understood.
  • Benzodiazepines
    • Midazolam given at the onset of anaesthesia has been shown in recent trials to be as effective as ondansetron, a 5HT3 antagonist in the prevention of post-operative nausea and vomiting. Further studies need to be undertaken.
  • Cannabinoids are second-line therapy, used in patients with cytotoxic nausea & vomiting unresponsive to other agents. Drowsiness and dizziness are frequent side-effects.
  • Other
    • Trimethobenzamide; thought to work on the CTZ
    • Ginger
    • Emetrol also claims to be an effective anti-emetic.
    • Propofol given intravenously has been used in an acute care setting in hospital as a rescue therapy for emesis.

Drugs for sortingEdit

See alsoEdit



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