- Clinical science
Antiemetics are a heterogeneous group of drugs used to treat various causes of nausea and vomiting. Different antiemetics act on different receptors, and they may have a peripheral effect, a central effect, or both. Whereas serotonin antagonists, for example, bind 5-HT3 receptors and effectively combat cytotoxic drug nausea, certain anticholinergic drugs target M1 receptors and specifically treat motion sickness (kinetosis). Hospitals and clinics commonly use the dopamine D2 antagonist metoclopramide. However, because of its strong central effect and possible extrapyramidal side effects, metoclopramide must be used with caution.
|Group||Drug||Antagonized receptor||Mechanism||Specific features||Side effects|
|Dopamine receptor antagonists/ prokinetic agents||D2|| |
|Serotonin receptor antagonists||Ondansetron (Zofran®)||5-HT3|| || |
|Meclizine, dimenhydrinate, diphenhydramine,doxylamine,||H1|| || |
- Nonspecific nausea and vomiting
- Chemotherapy-induced nausea
- Vertigo (e.g., , )
- Motion sickness
- Gastrointestinal motility disorder (e.g., due to diabetic gastroparesis)
- Dopamine receptor antagonists
- Serotonin receptor antagonists: : severe liver disease, prolonged QT interval
- anticholinergic side effects and with
We list the most important contraindications. The selection is not exhaustive.