Management of nausea and vomiting in children

J Pediatr Nurs. 1995 Oct;10(5):280-6. doi: 10.1016/S0882-5963(05)80045-4.


When children experience nausea and vomiting (N/V) as side effects of anesthesia or chemotherapy, a major role for nurses is to promote comfort. In addition to the discomfort of N/V in children, other detrimental effects include dehydration, weight loss, fluid and electrolyte imbalance, and emotional distress. This article describes the physiological pathways through which the vomiting center is stimulated to cause nausea and vomiting and identifies appropriate interventions for blocking these pathways using both pharmacological and nonpharmacological means. Medications used to control nausea and vomiting, including phenothiazines, substituted benzamide, corticosteroids, benzodiazepines, antihistamines, and serotonin antagonists, are discussed. Nonpharmacological interventions that are described include reducing anxiety, music therapy, hypnosis, progressive muscle relaxation, dietary modifications, and acupressure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiemetics / pharmacology
  • Antiemetics / therapeutic use
  • Anxiety / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Complementary Therapies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Nausea / etiology
  • Nausea / nursing*
  • Nausea / physiopathology
  • Nausea / therapy
  • Neural Pathways
  • Nursing Assessment
  • Vomiting / etiology
  • Vomiting / nursing*
  • Vomiting / physiopathology
  • Vomiting / therapy


  • Antiemetics