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My Child Feels Nauseated, What Medicines Can Help?

My Child Feels Nauseated, What Medicines Can Help?

Nausea is the sensation of wanting to vomit. Commonly, when kids complain of wanting to throw up, it’s due to indigestion. However, please note that many conditions cause nausea in kids. What nausea medicines for children can you safely give? Find out here.

Get in Touch With a Doctor

Nausea medicines for children should not be given without the doctor’s approval. Only the doctor can determine whether an antiemetic drug is necessary based on your child’s condition and symptoms. They will also choose the best type of nausea medicines for children,

Nausea may happen with:

If complaints of nausea last for more than a day, watch out for food poisoning and other gastrointestinal infections. If the complaints persist for days, there may be problems with the child’s digestive system.

Sometimes, a child’s nausea can be due to a problem in the brain that controls the urge to vomit.

Before deciding on nausea medicines for children, the doctor often seeks to answer the following questions:

  • Does the nausea and vomiting last for 12 hours (for infants) and 24 hours (for children)?
  • Is nausea accompanied by diarrhea, neurological disorders, and respiratory problems?
  • Does the nauseous child look weak and show signs of dehydration ?
  • Is nausea accompanied by abdominal pain?
  • If the child vomits, is the stomach content green or bloody in color?

Only after determining the benefits and risks will the doctor decide on an antiemetic drug.

Types of Nausea Medicines For Children

Once they determine the need for nausea medicines, the doctor will likely prescribe any of the following:

1. Ondansetron

Ondansetron is used to treat and prevent nausea and vomiting. It is also commonly used to address similar symptoms as side effects of cancer treatment.

It belongs to the serotonin 5-HT3 receptor antagonist drug class, which means Ondansetron works by blocking the action of serotonin, a natural substance produced by the brain to trigger nausea and vomiting.

Initially, Ondansetron can cause the following side effects:

  • Headache
  • Dizzy
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • dry mouth
  • Hot and red face

Call the nurse or doctor if your child experiences any of the above side effects.

2. Domperidone

Domperidone facilitates the movement of food through the stomach and intestines. When food flows faster, the risk of reflux that triggers nausea and vomiting can be prevented or reduced.

This drug also blocks the vomiting signal in the brain.

The doctor may prescribe domperidone if the child’s nausea happens due to fullness or as a side effect of other medicines.

Domperidone may lead to the following side effects:

  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Stomach cramps

Report to the doctor if your child experiences any of the side effects above.

3. Metoclopramide

Metoclopramide is a pediatric nausea medication belonging to the prokinetic class. Besides reducing the reflexes for nausea and vomiting, this drug also triggers stomach emptying.

The doctor may prescribe this medicine if your child has Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD.

Metoclopramide may cause the following side effects:

  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Stomach cramps
  • Tremors

Metoclopramide also strengthens the esophagus sphincter muscle, preventing the backflow of stomach content.

4. Dimenhydrinate

Dimenhydrinate is a combination drug with antihistamine content that can treat or prevent nausea by blocking the vomiting center in the brain. Usually, doctors prescribe it for motion sickness.

Despite being an over-the-counter drug, never give dimenhydrinate without the doctor’s advice. It is also not suitable for children younger than 2 years old.

Side effects may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness
  • Dry mouth, throat and nose
  • Increased mucus in mouth and throat

How To Deal With Nausea in Children at Home

For mild nausea, consider the following measures:

1. Give Fluids To Prevent Dehydration

Within 6-24 hours after the child first complains of nausea (and especially when they are already vomiting), ask them to drink water if they can to prevent dehydration. If drinking triggers the nausea further, taking ice chips is a good alternative to keep them hydrated.

2. Let Them Rest

If your child continues to feel nauseous, encourage them to rest or sleep. Don’t allow them to play around until their nausea subsides.

3. Provide Easy-To-Digest Foods

Nausea and vomiting may come with appetite loss. However, your child should still eat. For this reason, provide them with easy-to-digest foods, like crackers or saltine crackers, toast, or chicken soup. Instead of large meals, consider small, frequent meals.

Finally, discourage kids from playing around soon after meals. Ask them to stay still and upright for about half an hour or so.

Learn more about Child Health here.


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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


About abdominal migraines | Children’s Wisconsin. (2020). Retrieved 7 October 2020, from https://childrenswi.org/medical-care/gastroenterology-liver-and-nutrition-program/conditions/abdominal-migraine

About nausea and vomiting | Children’s Wisconsin. (2020). Retrieved 7 October 2020, from https://childrenswi.org/medical-care/gastroenterology-liver-and-nutrition-program/conditions/nausea-and-vomiting

AboutKidsHealth. (2020). Retrieved 7 October 2020, from https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=205&language=English

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(2020). Retrieved 7 October 2020, from https://www.who.int/selection_medicines/committees/expert/17/application/Antiemetics_Review.pdf?ua=1

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Written by Hello Sehat Updated May 12
Medically reviewed by Regina Victoria Boyles, MD