Without a doubt, the number one side effect people are concerned about when receiving chemotherapy is nausea and vomiting! The image of a bald person throwing up is replayed in our minds but it’s just not true. Historically this may have been the case but over the last several decades the medications use to treat nausea and vomiting from chemo have evolved. Now, some people will have absolutely no symptoms of nausea or vomiting while others remain very sick. It all just depends on what is done to prevent the nausea and vomiting and what type of treatment you are receiving.
Before we can get into the details of the medications used to prevent and treat nausea, it’s important to first appreciate the different types and nausea and vomiting:
Acute nausea is described as occurring immediately after chemotherapy is administered (e.g. up to 24 hours post administration).
Delayed nausea is anything after the 24-hour point.
Anticipatory nausea occurs immediately PRIOR to chemotherapy. With no chemotherapy in your system, you are already feeling unwell by just anticipating the process.
But why does this matter?
It makes a difference when selecting the drugs used to treat these symptoms. Acute nausea and vomiting is caused by different mechanisms in the body when compared to delayed. So the drugs need to target the root cause of the nausea to be effective.
Now that we have a good understanding of the different types of nausea, let’s look at the various medications:
Common Medications Used for Chemotherapy Induced Nausea and Vomiting
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