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Health A-Z

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Harvard Medical School

Treatment

Nausea does not always require treatment, but sometimes treatment is helpful. There are several things you can do on your own to help, including:

  • Drink beverages that settle the stomach, such as ginger ale or chamomile tea.

  • Avoid caffeinated colas, coffees and teas.

  • Drink clear liquids to avoid dehydration (if vomiting is associated with nausea).

  • Eat small, frequent meals to allow the stomach to digest foods gradually.

  • Eat foods that are bland and simple for your stomach to digest, such as crackers or unbuttered bread, rice, chicken soup and bananas.

  • Avoid spicy foods and fried foods.

Some over-the-counter medications can help to relieve nausea, including:

  • Chewable or liquid antacids, bismuth sub-salicylate (Pepto-Bismol) or a solution of glucose, fructose and phosphoric acid (Emetrol). These medicines help by coating the stomach lining and neutralizing stomach acid.

  • Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) or meclizine hydrochloride (Bonine, Dramamine II). These medications are helpful for treating or preventing motion sickness and are thought to block receptors in the brain that trigger vomiting.

If you continue to feel nauseated, several prescription medications are available to help relieve nausea. Most anti-nausea medicines have drowsiness as a side effect. Women who are pregnant, or who think they might be pregnant, should be evaluated by a physician before taking any drug, including over-the-counter medicines.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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