Dulay MS and Dulay JS. Br J Hosp Med (Lond) 2020.
Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms in the hospital setting, with numerous causes. Common precipitants leading to or complicating inpatient hospital admissions include nausea and vomiting secondary to drugs, gastrointestinal disturbances, metabolic aberrancies, and vestibular pathologies. Appropriate selection and prescribing of antiemetic drugs is therefore important for healthcare professionals. There are numerous antiemetics available to physicians, ranging from muscarinic, dopaminergic and serotoninergic drugs, each acting on a different part of the nausea-vomiting cascade. This review describes the main pathophysiological processes involved in the development of symptomatic nausea and vomiting, and gives an overview of how common antiemetic drugs function to alleviate symptoms, alongside cautions and contraindications in their usage.