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Side effects of anti sickness drugs

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This page tells you about the side effects of anti sickness drugs. There is information about


What side effects are

Side effects are unwanted or unpleasant effects of a treatment. All drugs have side effects. Different drugs have different side effects. Some side effects are very rare and happen in only a few people. Drug companies are obliged by law to list all the side effects that have been reported to them, however rare. This can make the list of side effects inside the packet seem very alarming. Your doctor or specialist nurse should tell you about the most likely side effects of drugs before you take them. If you are worried, you can ask your doctor or nurse for more information.

Below is a list of some of the side effects of anti sickness drugs. You may get none, one, or a few of these side effects. If you have any side effects, let your doctor or nurse know as soon as possible. Your doctor can usually give you other medicines to help reduce the side effects. Or they may give you a different type of anti sickness drug.


Side effects of serotonin blockers

Examples of serotonin blockers are ondansetron (Zofran) and granisetron (Kytril). Side effects include

  • Headaches
  • Constipation – drinking plenty of fluids, eating a high fibre diet and taking exercise can all help but you may need other medicines (laxatives). When you take serotonin blockers for chemotherapy sickness, you have them for a short period only so that they are less likely to cause constipation
  • Flushing or tingling, but this is rare

Side effects of steroids

The most common steroid given for sickness is dexamethasone. It can cause

  • Trouble sleeping – taking them in the morning may help
  • Anxiety and fidgeting
  • Flushing or tingling (when injected) but this is rare
  • Pain or tingling in the vagina in women or between the legs (perineum) in men (when injected) – this can be a bit alarming, but is not serious and usually lasts less than a minute
  • Indigestion
  • Fungal infection (thrush) – this is also called candidiasis

Side effects of antihistamines and sedatives

This group includes haloperidol, droperidol, alprazolam, cyclizine and lorazepam. They can cause drowsiness.


Side effects of Maxolon and Stemetil

The other name for these drugs is metoclopramide (Maxolon) and prochlorperazine (Stemetil). They can cause twitching in your arms, legs or face. This is rare, but more likely in children and young adults.


Side effects of domperidone (Motilium)

This can cause a dry mouth.

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Updated: 26 June 2013