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									                                  PATIENT INFO SHEET
                         NAUSEA AND VOMITING
Nausea: A feeling of sickness in the stomach that may lead to vomiting.
Vomiting: The emptying of the stomach contents through the mouth.

Nausea and vomiting may be caused by the chemotherapy or radiation treatment you
are receiving. They may also be caused by the cancer itself, or other diseases. It is
not pleasant, but it is common. Everyone is different. Feelings of nausea are usually
worse immediately following your chemotherapy treatment and may last for several
days. Some people may have these feelings before treatment even starts. This
anxiety may worsen feelings of nausea and vomiting. The purpose of this sheet is to
help you PREVENT AND/ OR REDUCE your nausea and vomiting.

 You may need to learn about your medications for prevention and treatment of nausea
and vomiting, your nurse or pharmacist can give you individual Medication Info Sheets
for each medication.

                            Types of Nausea and Vomiting:
This is the feeling that you have when you think that you are going to vomit. It may be
constant or may come and go. There are many things you can do to prevent or relieve
nausea. Many of these things are on the back of this sheet. Your doctor may order
medication for nausea.
      Mild Vomiting:
This is vomiting 1-2 times a day. Take your medication for vomiting exactly as
ordered by your doctor. (See back of the sheet)
      Moderate Vomiting:
This is vomiting 3-9 times a day. Take your medication for vomiting exactly as
ordered by your doctor. If you vomit within 1 hour of taking your pill, you may take
another pill. If you can't keep anything down, suppositories may help. If you can't
keep anything down for more than 24hrs and you are feeling weak, call your doctor.
(See back of sheet)
      Severe Vomiting:
This is constant vomiting (more than 10 times a day). If this lasts more than 24 hours
phone your doctor. (See back of sheet)
      Note: Nausea and vomiting can make it difficult for you to do things you enjoy,
like spending time with your family and friends. Control of nausea and vomiting can
help you feel better and do the things you want.

        For more information on medications to prevent nausea and vomiting, please call
                     the Cancer Centre pharmacist or your doctor or nurse.
                                                                                                                                                         Nausea and Vomiting
SIDE EFFECTS                               PREVENTION                                                   WHAT YOU SHOULD DO
 Nausea            •    Take prescribed medication for nausea.                                          • Phone your doctor if nausea is severe and lasts
                   •    Before your treatment have only a small meal.                                     longer than 48 hours.
                   •    Eat small frequent meals for 2-3 days after treatment.                          • Drink clear cool fluids.
                   •    Limit spicy, fried foods and foods with strong smells.                          • Have several small meals a day and eat slowly.
                   •    Rest quietly during chemotherapy.                                               • Enjoy foods that are cold or at room temperature.
                   •    Changing your position or relaxation exercises may help.                        • After eating, relax but do not lie down flat.
                   •    You may want to focus your attention on T.V., music,                            • Try eating bland foods or dry starchy foods such
                       reading, fresh air or walking.                                                     as crackers and toast.
                                                                                                        • Keep a basin handy, in case you vomit.
 Mild              •    Take prescribed medication to prevent vomiting.
 Vomiting          •    Try the nausea prevention ideas suggested above.
 Moderate          •    Take prescribed medication for vomiting. Some                                   • Take prescribed medication for vomiting.
 or Severe         •    medications may be taken at regular times before and                            • Phone your doctor as soon as possible if you
 Vomiting               after chemotherapy.                                                               have vomited several times a day and it has lasted
                   •    Other medications may be used as needed, if the regular                           more than 24 hours.
                       medications are not enough, or in the days after finishing                       • If you can't take pills, a suppository may help.
                       the regular medications as directed.                                             • Try to drink plenty of clear fluids if you are able to.
                   •    You may want to change your eating times and quantity.                          • Slowly begin eating again when you feel you are
                   •    Try methods suggested above for nausea.                                           able to keep food down.
                   •    Tell your doctor or nurse on your next visit if your                            • If you can't keep food or fluids down and feel
                       medication did not work. You may need different                                    weak, you should phone your doctor.
                       medications to prevent nausea and vomiting.
                   •    A suppository may sometimes be used if you can't keep
                       pills down.

                       Your Antinausea medications (to treat or prevent nausea and vomiting) are:
         Regular Medications:                                                                   ‘As Needed’ Medications:
         (Take on the regular                                                                    (Use only when needed for
         schedule prescribed)                                                                    nausea & vomiting feelings)

Prepared by the Hamilton Regional Cancer Centre- Patient Education Committee, in cooperation with the staff and patients at HRCC and other Cancer Centres; Revised by the
Cancer Care Ontario-Professional Pharmacy Advisory Committee- Medication Information Sheets Working Group. Any comments about the contents of this sheet, please
email                                                                                                          Revised: May, 2005

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