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- Coping with side effects
- Nausea and vomiting
Nausea and vomiting
Nausea is best treated early. If you feel sick, talk to your doctor. You will probably be given anti-nausea medicine that you can take regularly to relieve symptoms. Finding the right medicine can take time. If you still have nausea or vomiting after using the prescribed medicine, let your doctor know so that you can try another type.
Tips for managing nausea
- Take anti-nausea medicine as prescribed by your doctor before your treatment session.
- Sip on fluids throughout the day. If you don’t like plain water, try flavoured water or tea. Peppermint, ginger or weak black tea can be soothing. You can also try sparkling water, lemonade or ginger ale.
- Avoid strong smells. Keep your distance if co-workers are eating strong-smelling food. If you work in the food, hairdressing or construction industries and are affected by strong smells, ask for other tasks.
- Chew gum or suck on ice cubes throughout the day.
- Try eating food with ginger, which can improve nausea.
- An empty stomach can make your nausea worse. Eat something before going to bed or soon after getting up in the morning. Eat small meals and snacks regularly. Try nibbling on plain crackers or biscuits.
- Breathe deeply and gently through your mouth if you feel like you’re going to vomit, or go outside for some fresh air.
- Keep a sick bag close to you or sit near the bathroom so you can get there quickly if needed.
- Work from home or take leave if you feel too sick.
- See Nutrition and cancer for tips on simple recipes and snacks.
Podcast: Appetite Loss and Nausea
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Brooke Russell, Principal Occupational Therapist, WA Cancer Occupational Therapy, WA; Bianca Alessi, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Dr Prunella Blinman, Medical Oncologist, Concord Cancer Centre, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, NSW; James Chirgwin, Physiotherapist, The Wesley Hospital, QLD; Danielle Curnoe, Consumer; Simon Gates, Barrister, Tasmanian Bar, TAS; Justin Hargreaves, Medical Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Bendigo Health Cancer Centre, VIC; Kaylene Jacques, Director, People and Communications, Cancer Council NSW; Alex Kelly, Senior People Attraction Advisor, Human Resources, Allianz Australia Insurance, NSW; Legal reviewer; Georgina Lohse, Social Worker, GV Health, VIC; Lesley McQuire, Consumer, Cancer Voices NSW.
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