Many patients have nausea and vomiting while receiving chemotherapy. Many new drugs have made these side effects less common or, when they do occur, less severe. These powerful antiemetic or antinausea drugs can prevent or lessen nausea and vomiting in many patients. Different drugs work for different people, and you may need more than one drug to get relief. Work with your health care providers to find the drug or drugs that work best for you. Many patients also benefit immensely from complementary treatments such as acupuncture, homeopathy, nutrition or herbal medicine to diminish/eliminate nausea and vomiting. Do tell your doctor or health care providers if you have vomited for more than one day, or if you cannot keep liquids down as this may need immediate medical attention.
What can you do if you have nausea and vomiting?
Drink liquids at least an hour before or after mealtime, instead of with your meals. Drink frequently and drink small amounts.
Eat and drink slowly.
Eat small meals throughout the day, instead of one, two, or three large meals.
Eat foods cool or at room temperature so you won't be bothered by strong smells.
Chew your food well for easier digestion.
If nausea is a problem in the morning, try eating dry foods like cereal, toast, or crackers before getting up. (Do not try this if you have mouth or throat sores or are troubled by a lack of saliva.)
Drink cool, clear, unsweetened fruit juices, such as apple or grape juice.
Suck on mints, or tart candies. (Do not use tart candies if you have mouth or throat sores.)
Wear loose-fitting clothes.
Breathe deeply and slowly when you feel nauseated.
Distract yourself by chatting with friends or family members, listening to music, or watching a movie or TV show.
Use relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, tai chi or listen to calming music.
Try to avoid odors that bother you, such as cooking smells, smoke, or perfume.
Avoid sweet, fried, dairy, and fatty foods.
Rest but do not lie flat for at least 2 hours after you finish a meal.
Avoid eating for at least a few hours before treatment if nausea usually occurs during chemotherapy.