What are the treatments for the condition?
Treatment is directed at the underlying cause. For example, if the cause is gastroesophageal reflux, medications can be given to treat the reflux. If the cause is appendicitis, surgery is needed to remove the appendix. Medications are also available to treat nausea if the cause cannot be treated or avoided. For example, people who need chemotherapy to treat cancer are often given drugs to reduce nausea before chemotherapy begins.
Some drugs that may help reduce nausea are available over-the-counter, such as Pepto-Bismol or diphenhydramine. Others are more powerful, such as ondansetron or dronabinol, and require a prescription.
What are the side effects of the treatments?
All medications have possible side effects. For example, diphenhydramine makes many people sleepy. Pepto-Bismol can turn the stools black. Other drugs can cause allergic reactions, diarrhea, or other side effects. Specific side effects depend on the medications used. Any surgery carries a risk of bleeding, infection, and reactions to pain medications.
What happens after treatment for the condition?
If the underlying cause can be found and treated, the nausea should stop. If the cause cannot be found or cannot be treated, drugs to reduce nausea may help. For example, some people may need narcotics to control pain, but the narcotics make them nauseous. In this case, drugs to treat nausea can be given at the same time as the pain medications.
How is the condition monitored?
People with nausea can monitor it themselves as well as how it responds to treatment. The underlying cause of nausea may need further monitoring and treatment.