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Gen Pharmacol. 1990;21(1):1-10.

Therapeutic management of nausea and vomiting.

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  • 1Departamento de Farmacología y Terapéutica, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma, Madrid, Spain.


1. The aim of this study is to review the mechanisms implicated in nausea and vomiting and the treatment of these symptoms. 2. Metoclopramide, a benzamide, is the drug most frequently used to alleviate or abolish the majority of nausea and vomiting of different origin. Domperidone, which scarcely penetrates the central nervous system (CNS), is less used. 3. The treatment of vomiting induced by cytotoxic drugs is necessary to use a combination (two or more) of antiemetic drugs (metoclopramide, glucocorticoids, antihistamines, butyrophenones, anticholinergics, cannabinoids). Recently, antagonists of serotonergic (5-HT) receptors of the subtype 5-HT3 appear to possess interesting antiemetic properties and they have a promising future in this field. 4. Antagonists of dopamine receptors (benzamides, phenotiazines, butyrophenones and domperidone) induce adverse reactions in CNS (mainly extrapyramidal disorders), which are scarce with metoclopramide and practically absent with domperidone. These disorders must not suppress antiemetic therapy when it is needed.

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