Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Nausea and Vomiting Home Care

Home care for nausea and vomiting includes:

  • Oral rehydration therapy for older children and adults:
    • Drink clear liquids only, such as water, sports drinks (best), fruit juice and dilute tea.
    • Drink small quantities of fluids frequently, such as 2 tablespoons of fluid every 5 minutes.
    • The absence of food allows the intestines to rest.
    • May be able to advance to full liquid diet once symptoms improve
    • Effective to treat mild to moderate dehydration
  • Drink clear liquids only for 24 hours:
    • Sports drinks
    • Fruit juice
    • Dilute tea
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Avoid caffeine.
  • Avoid milk and dairy products for 3 days.
  • Avoid liquids that irritate the stomach:
    • Citrus juice
    • Coffee
  • If vomiting continues despite the above, try nonprescription medicines for vomiting.
  • Nonprescription medications for vomiting:
  • Once vomiting and nausea resolves, start bland foods:
    • Bananas
    • Applesauce
    • Rice
    • Toast
  • Take prescribed medications as directed:
    • Don't skip doses of your medication. This makes them less effective.
    • Be aware of the common side effects that may be caused by your medication.

For more information:

Nausea and Vomiting Abdominal Pain Adults

Home care for abdominal pain in adults with nausea and vomiting includes:

Nausea and Vomiting Abdominal Pain Children

Home care for abdominal pain in children with nausea and vomiting includes:

  • Apply heat to the abdomen:
    • Heating pad
    • Hot water bottle
    • Warm baths
  • Avoid spicy foods and caffeine.
  • Avoid enemas and laxatives.
  • Avoid exposure to secondary smoke
  • Drink clear liquids only.
    • Advance to a regular diet after one day
  • Rest in bed.
  • Take acetaminophen for pain
  • Avoid aspirin and ibuprofen.
  • Take an antacid medication:
  • Take prescription medications as directed.

Nausea and Vomiting Diarrhea in Adults

Home treatment of diarrhea in adults with nausea and vomiting includes hydration and dietary therapy.

Hydration
Those who are able to drink liquids can restore lost water and salt with oral rehydration therapy (ORT).

ORT fluids are usually used in children, but are also effective for adults. These include:

  • Infalyte
  • Lytren
  • Naturalyte
  • Pedialyte
  • Rehydralyte
  • ReVital
  • Generic drugstore brands

Additional ORT fluids include:
  • Soft drinks without caffeine
  • Sports drinks (Gatorade)
  • Tea
  • Water

Dietary Therapy
ORT is most important if you have vomiting with the diarrhea. Once vomiting and nausea resolves, eat bland foods first. If you tolerate bland food, then you can resume a normal diet.

Foods that may help diarrhea:
  • Applesauce
  • Bananas
  • Bread
  • Cereal
  • Crackers
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Noodles
  • Oatmeal
  • Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Strained carrots
  • Wheat
  • Yogurt

Items that may worsen diarrhea include:
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Concentrated fruit juices
  • High-sugar foods (junk food)
  • Cow's milk
  • Spicy foods
  • Sugar substitutes

Nausea and Vomiting Diarrhea in Children

Home treatment of diarrhea in children with nausea and vomiting includes hydration and dietary therapy.

Hydration
Those who are able to drink liquids can restore lost water and salt with oral rehydration therapy (ORT).

ORT fluids used in children include:

  • Infalyte
  • Lytren
  • Naturalyte
  • Pedialyte
  • Rehydralyte
  • ReVital
  • Generic drugstore brands

Additional ORT fluids for older children include:
  • Soft drinks without caffeine
  • Sports drinks (Gatorade)
  • Tea
  • Water

Strategies for breast-fed infants under 6 months include:
  • Continue breast feeding as much as your baby desires.
  • Provide additional ORT fluids to supplement breast milk.
  • If vomiting occurs, provide small amounts of ORT fluids every 30-60 minutes.
  • Prevent diaper rash by changing diapers frequently and apply Vaseline to the skin.
  • Watch for symptoms of dehydration.

Strategies for bottle-fed infants under 6 months:
  • Give your child normal amounts of formula.
  • Provide as much ORT fluids as your baby desires.
  • If vomiting occurs, provide small amounts of ORT fluids every 30-60 minutes.
  • If vomiting occurs, try a lactose-free formula.
  • Prevent diaper rash by changing diapers frequently and apply Vaseline to the skin.
  • Watch for symptoms of dehydration.

Strategies for children over 6 months:
  • Provide a bland diet.
  • Provide as much ORT fluids as your baby desires.
  • If vomiting occurs, provide small amounts of ORT fluids every 30-60 minutes.
  • Prevent diaper rash by changing diapers frequently and apply Vaseline to the skin.
  • Watch for symptoms of dehydration.

Dietary Therapy
ORT is most important if you have vomiting with the diarrhea. Once vomiting and nausea resolves, provide bland foods first. If bland foods are tolerated, then you resume a normal diet.

Foods that may help diarrhea:
  • Applesauce
  • Bananas
  • Bread
  • Cereal
  • Crackers
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Noodles
  • Oatmeal
  • Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Strained carrots
  • Wheat
  • Yogurt

Items that may worsen diarrhea include:
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Concentrated fruit juices
  • High-sugar foods junk food
  • Cow's milk
  • Spicy foods
  • Sugar substitutes

Nausea and Vomiting Fever in Adults

Medications commonly used to control pain and fever in adults with nausea and vomiting include:


Acetaminophen
  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Adult dosing is 2 regular strength (325 mg) every 4 hours or 2 extra-strength (500 mg) every 6 hours.
  • Maximum dose is 4,000 mg per day.
  • Avoid this drug if you have alcoholism, liver disease or an allergy to the drug. See the package instructions.
  • Common brand names include Tylenol, Panadol, and many others.

Aspirin

Ibuprofen

Naproxen

Ketoprofen

NSAID Precautions

Nausea and Vomiting Fever in Children

Common medications used at home for fever in children with nausea and vomiting include:


Acetaminophen is the best drug for children with nausea or vomiting, because it does not irritate the stomach like ibuprofen or naproxen. Suppositories are available for children having difficulty keeping this medicine down without vomiting.

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Dosing is 10-15 mg per kilogram (5-7 mg per pound) of body weight every 4-6 hours, up to the adult dose.
  • Do not exceed the maximum daily dose.
  • Acetaminophen products come in various strengths. Always follow the package instructions.
  • Avoid this drug in children with liver disease or an allergy to acetaminophen.
  • Common acetaminophen products include Tylenol, Panadol and many others.

Nausea and Vomiting Liquid Diet

Sometimes a liquid diet is easier to tolerate in those with repeated vomiting.

There are two main types of liquid diets:

  • Clear Liquids
    • If tolerated for 24 hours than usually advanced to full liquids
  • Full Liquids

These diets may be recommended for:

Clear Liquid Diet
Clear liquids are liquids you can see through. Clear liquids can also contain some nutrition, but are usually not adequate to support the body's energy needs for more than a few days. Clear liquids are easily absorbed by the intestines. Liquids remove the stress on the intestines.

Clear liquids include:
  • Bouillon soup
  • Coffee
  • Broth
  • Fruit juices without pulp
  • Gelatin
  • Popsicles (no pulp)
  • Soft drinks
  • Sports drinks (e.g. Gatorade)
  • Tea
  • Water

Full Liquid Diet
This type of diet lies between a solid diet and clear liquids. It is often used by someone who is tolerating clear liquids, but cannot tolerate solid food. A full liquid diet can safely sustain the body for long periods of time.

Full liquids include:
  • Cream of wheat
  • Fruit juices
  • Honey
  • Jelly
  • Milk, milkshakes and ice cream
  • Nutrition supplement drinks, such as Ensure or Boost
  • Pureed meats
  • Pureed vegetables
  • Soups without solids
  • Syrups
  • Vegetable juices
  • Yogurt and pudding

Nausea and Vomiting Vomiting in Children

Home treatment of nausea and vomiting in children includes hydration and dietary therapy. Those who are able to drink liquids can restore lost water and salt with oral rehydration therapy (ORT).

ORT fluids used in infants include:

  • Infalyte
  • Lytren
  • Naturalyte
  • Pedialyte
  • Rehydralyte
  • ReVital

ORT fluids used in older children include:
  • Sports drinks (Gatorade)
  • Broth
  • Dilute fruit juices
  • Flat soda
  • Weak tea with sugar

Strategies for breast-fed infants younger than 6 months:
  • If the infant tolerates breast milk, continue breast-feeding in small amounts very frequently.
  • Provide additional ORT fluids to supplement breast milk.
  • Feed very small amounts every 30-60 minutes, or try giving small amounts more frequently, such as:
    • Children up to 5 kg (11 lb): give 5 ml (1 teaspoon) every 5 minutes
    • Children 5-10 kg (11-22 lb): give 10 ml (2 teaspoons) every 5 minutes
  • Watch for dehydration: dry mouth, decreased urination, dark yellow urine and lack of tears.

Strategies for formula-fed infants younger than 6 months:
  • If the infant tolerates formula, continue to provide small amounts very frequently.
  • Provide additional ORT fluids to formula.
  • Try giving small amounts more frequently, such as:
    • Children up to 5 kg (11 lb): give 5 ml (1 teaspoon) every 5 minutes
    • Children 5-10 kg (11-22 lb): give 10 ml (2 teaspoons) every 5 minutes
  • Watch for dehydration: dry mouth, decreased urination, dark yellow urine and lack of tears.

Strategies for children over 6 months:
  • Provide as much ORT fluids as your child desires.
  • If vomiting occurs, provide small amounts of ORT fluids more frequently:
    • Children 10-20 kg (22-44 lb): 15 ml (1 tablespoon) every 5 minutes
    • Children 20-40 kg (44-88 lb): 22 ml (1 and 1/2 tablespoons) every 5 minutes
    • Children 40 kg (88 lb) and over: 30 ml (2 tablespoons) every 5 minutes
  • Watch for dehydration: dry mouth, decreased urination, dark yellow urine and lack of tears.

Dietary Therapy
Most children with vomiting improve in a few hours and symptoms usually resolve in one day. Once vomiting and nausea resolves, provide bland foods first. If bland foods are tolerated, then you resume a normal diet.

Foods that are easiest to tolerate include:
  • Crackers
  • Oatmeal
  • Jell-O
  • Soft foods
  • Yogurt

Foods to avoid include:
  • Concentrated fruit juices
  • Junk foods
  • Milk products
  • Recently introduced foods
  • Spicy foods

Nonprescription medicines for vomiting should only be used under the direction of your doctor.

Nausea and Vomiting Warning Signs

Notify your doctor if you have nausea and vomiting and any of the following:

Continue to Nausea and Vomiting Outlook

Last Updated: Mar 14, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Nausea and Vomiting References
  1. Bond CM. Comparison of buccal and oral prochlorperazine in the treatment of dizziness associated with nausea and/or vomiting. Curr Med Res Opin. 1998;14(4):203-12. [9891192]
  2. Borrelli F, Capasso R, Aviello G, Pittler MH, Izzo AA. Effectiveness and safety of ginger in the treatment of pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting. Obstet Gynecol. 2005 Apr;105(4):849-56. [15802416]
  3. Fan CF, Tanhui E, Joshi S, Trivedi S, Hong Y, Shevde K. Acupressure treatment for prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting. Anesth Analg. 1997 Apr;84(4):821-5. [9085965]
  4. Kovac AL. Prevention and treatment of postoperative nausea and vomiting. Drugs. 2000 Feb;59(2):213-43. [10730546]
  5. Ladabaum U, Hasler WL. Novel approaches to the treatment of nausea and vomiting. Dig Dis. 1999;17(3):125-32. [10697661]
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