There are numerous causes of nausea and vomiting. These symptoms may be due to the following:
• acute gastritis
• central causes (signals from the brain)
• association with other illnesses remote from the stomach
• medications and medical treatments
• mechanical obstruction of the bowel
Symptomatic treatment may occur while the underlying illness is being investigated because ideally, nausea and vomiting should resolve when the cause of the symptoms resolves.
Nausea and vomiting are often made worse when the patient is dehydrated, resulting in a vicious cycle. The nausea makes it difficult to drink fluid, making the dehydration worse, which then increases the nausea. Intravenous fluids may be provided to correct this issue.
Common medications used to control nausea and vomiting include prochlorperazine (Compazine), metoclopramide (Maxolon), and ondansetron (Zofran). The decision as to which medication to use will depend on the specific situation.
Nausea and vomiting are symptoms of an underlying disease and not a specific illness. Nausea is the sensation that the stomach wants to empty itself, while vomiting, emesis or throwing up, is the act of forcible emptying of the stomach.