What Are Antiemetic Medications?

Prescription medication scattered on counter
What Are Antiemetic Medications?

If you have experienced nausea and vomiting, you will know that they are no fun. But, as uncomfortable
as they are, they are your body’s attempt to get rid of harmful things from your digestive system.
Regardless, many of us wonder if there is something that we can do to relieve the symptoms of nausea
and vomiting.
Antiemetic medications are used to treat or prevent nausea and vomiting. Different types of antiemetic
medications are available, as there are many possible ways in which our body can create vomiting and
nausea. There are OTC antiemetic medications and prescription medications used to treat nausea and
vomiting.

Classes Of Antiemetic Medications

There are six classes of antiemetic medications that are approved by the FDA. These are:
 Dopamine receptor antagonists
 Neurokinin 1 (NK1) receptor antagonists
 Cannabinoids
 Serotonin receptor antagonists
 Antihistamines
 Anticholinergics
You need to note that not all medications in these classes are approved for treating vomiting and
nausea. Some healthcare providers also prescribe corticosteroid medications off-label to treat vomiting
and nausea. Experts in our compounding pharmacy say that these medications can be especially helpful
when the symptoms are caused by chemotherapy.

Working Of Antiemetic Medications

Many of us think that nausea and vomiting are stomach-related problems. But actually, it is our brain
that creates these symptoms. Various chemical messengers affect the part of the brain that controls
vomiting and nausea. This makes you feel nauseated. Some examples of these chemical messengers are
serotonin, histamine, neurokinins, dopamine and acetylcholine. Antiemetic medications work by
blocking the activity of these chemicals. These medications stop the chemicals from attaching to their
target locations, which are called receptors. The receptors can vary depending on the cause of nausea
and vomiting.

What Conditions Can Be Treat Using Antiemetic Medications?

There can be many reasons for nausea and vomiting. Some of the common causes are migraines, certain
medications like chemotherapy medications, morning sickness, food poisoning, motion sickness, viral or
bacterial infections, and stomach conditions like GERD.

Bottom Line

Antiemetic medications are effective in stopping nausea and vomiting. These medications work for
different situations and health conditions that can lead to these symptoms. However, some antiemetic
medications work better in some cases than others. Therefore, it is best to consult your healthcare

provider regarding the antiemetic medication that would be the most effective to treat your nausea and
vomiting.