Once you and your doctor find the cause, you will want to know how to treat your nausea or vomiting. You may need to take medicine, change your diet, or try other things to make you feel better.
It is very important to keep enough fluids in your body. Try drinking frequent, small amounts of clear liquids.
If you have morning sickness during pregnancy, ask your doctor about possible treatments.
The following may help treat motion sickness:
Over-the-counter antihistamines, such as dimenhydrinate (Dramamine).
Using scopolamine prescription skin patches (such as Transderm Scop). These are helpful for extended trips, such as an ocean voyage. Use the patch as your doctor instructs. Scopolamine is for adults only. It should NOT be given to children.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call 911 or go to an emergency room if:
You think vomiting is from poisoning.
You notice blood or dark, coffee-colored material in the vomit.
Call a health care provider right away or seek medical care if you or another person has:
Been vomiting for longer than 24 hours
Been unable to keep any fluids down for 12 hours or more
Headache or stiff neck
Not urinated for 8 or more hours
Severe stomach or belly pain
Vomited three or more times in 1 day
Signs of dehydration include:
Crying without tears
Eyes that appear sunken
Skin changes -- for example, if you touch or squeeze the skin, it doesn't bounce back the way it usually does
Urinating less often or having dark yellow urine
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
Your health care provider will perform a physical exam, and will look for signs of dehydration.
Your health care provider will ask questions about your symptoms, such as:
When did the vomiting begin? How long has it lasted? How often does it occur?
Does it occur after you eat, or on an empty stomach?
What other symptoms are present -- abdominal pain, fever, diarrhea, or headaches?
Depending on the cause and how much extra fluids you need, you may have to stay in the hospital or clinic for a period of time. You may need fluids given through your veins (intravenous or IV).
Malagelada J-R, Malagelada C. Nausea and vomiting. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 14.
Mcquaid K. Approach to the patient with gastrointestinal disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 134.
George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.