Nausea and Vomiting, Age 12 and Older (cont.)
Check Your Symptoms
Home treatment may be all that is needed to treat occasional nausea.
- Watch for dehydration, and treat it early. Signs of dehydration include being thirstier than usual and having darker urine than usual. Older adults and young children can quickly become dehydrated.
- Use acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, instead of aspirin or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen, if you need to treat a fever or abdominal pain.
- Take an over-the-counter antinausea medicine, such as meclizine (Antivert or Bonine) or dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), or an antihistamine, such as Benadryl. Don't give antihistamines to your child unless you've checked with the doctor first.
- Try acupressure:
- Place the tip of your right index finger on the underside of your left wrist, about 1.5 in. (4 cm) from your hand. Acupressure points are very small, so you may need to try this method more than one time.
- Apply moderate pressure for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Repeat as needed.
- Acupressure bands, which are available for motion sickness, may help reduce nausea.
- Suck on peppermint candy, or chew a stick of peppermint gum. Peppermint may relax tight muscles in your stomach and help decrease the stomach contractions that may be causing your nausea.
If you are vomiting:
- Rest in bed until you are feeling better.
- Sip a rehydration drink to restore lost fluids and nutrients.
- After vomiting has stopped for 1 hour, drink 1 fl oz (30 mL) of a clear liquid every 20 minutes for 1 hour. Clear liquids include apple or grape juice mixed to half strength with water, rehydration drinks, weak tea with sugar, clear broth, and gelatin dessert. Avoid orange juice, grapefruit juice, tomato juice, and lemonade. Avoid apple and grape juice if you also have diarrhea. Do not drink milk products, alcohol, or carbonated drinks such as sodas.
- If you do not have any more vomiting, increase the amount of fluid you drink to 8 fl oz (240 mL) during the second hour. If you are not vomiting after the second hour, make sure that you continue to drink enough to prevent dehydration.
- When you are feeling better, begin eating clear soups, mild foods, and liquids until all symptoms are gone for 12 to 48 hours. Gelatin dessert, dry toast, crackers, and cooked cereal are good choices. Try to stay away from strong food odors, which can make nausea worse.
The acid in vomit can erode dental enamel and cause tooth decay (cavities). Rinse your mouth with water after you vomit. Brush your teeth if you can.
Symptoms to watch for during home treatment
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home treatment:
- Dehydration develops. Signs of dehydration include being thirstier than usual and having darker urine than usual.
- A stiff neck develops.
- Severe vomiting develops.
- Chest pain or other symptoms of a heart attack develop.
- Changes in mental alertness develop, such as extreme sleepiness, personality changes, confusion, irritability, or restlessness.
- Vomit contains blood or material that looks like coffee grounds.
- Vomiting with fever of 103°F (39.4°C) or higher occurs or fever lasts longer than 2 days.
- Belly pain develops or gets worse.
- Your symptoms become more severe or more frequent.
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