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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Nausea & vomiting in adults


You should seek medical help with vomiting if:

Nausea (nor-ze-a) is a sick or queasy feeling. You may have this with or without vomiting.

Vomiting (or throwing up) is when you cannot keep food, or anything else in your stomach.

Causes of nausea & vomiting

There are lots of reasons for nausea and vomiting. Common causes include:

Nausea and vomiting can be caused by a serious health problem. Seek medical help if you have nausea and vomiting and are unsure of the reason.

Self-care for nausea & vomiting

Have regular sips of water (or any fluid you like) rather than drinking a lot at a time. If you are vomiting, you may want to use oral rehydration fluids.

If you vomit, wait for 5 to 10 minutes to start drinking then take a sip of water every 2 to 3 minutes.

When you are able, eat small amounts throughout the day, avoiding fried, greasy or fatty foods. Some people find ginger helpful in drinks, food or tablets.

Treating nausea & vomiting

There are several medicines that each work to treat different causes of nausea and vomiting. Your healthcare provider will consider which one will work best for you.

Options include cyclizine, prochlorperazine or metoclopramide and ondansetron.

You may also need treatment for the condition that is causing your symptoms.

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Page created November 2023.


Page reference: 1307967

Review key: HINAV-1307967