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What are anti-emetics?

Anti-emetics are prescribed to alleviate nausea and vomiting that are the side effects of other medications — such as chemotherapy or anesthesia used for surgery. They can also be used to treat gastroenteritis, morning sickness during pregnancy, motion sickness, and certain infections. There are different types of anti-emetics — each of them specifically designed to treat certain conditions.

When used for treating morning sickness, it is only prescribed in severe situations — such as when the woman has hyperemesis gravidarum.

What are the most important things I should know about anti-emetics?

Anti-emetics are safe to use by pregnant women and teenagers. However, certain types of medication should not be administered on children 12 years of age or younger.

Tell your doctor about any additional medications you are taking — including sleeping pills, muscle relaxants, and over-the-counter medications, as these could increase the risk of side effects. In addition, taking anti-emetics together with medications for arthritis, diabetes, gout, and colds, as well as blood thinners, may worsen side effects.

What are the common side effects of anti-emetics?

Side effects of anti-emetics treatment depend on the type of medication used for your specific condition. They may include any of the following:

  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Decreased urination
  • Constipation
  • Grayish-black stools
  • Fatigue
  • Darkened tongue
  • Increased appetite

If you experience any of the side effects listed below, contact your doctor immediately:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Severe drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Severe constipation
  • Worsening of nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle weakness
  • Hearing loss
  • Seizures

These are not all of the possible side effects of anti-emetics. Talk to your doctor about any side effects that you experience. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.