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How you take anti sickness drugs

There are different ways of having anti sickness drugs. Sometimes you will be given medicines to swallow, but this isn’t always possible.

Ways of taking anti sickness drugs

The easiest way to take any drug is by swallowing a tablet or liquid medicine. But if the drug you need can't be swallowed or because you have difficulty swallowing for some reason, this isn't possible.

When you are feeling sick, it can be very difficult to take medicines by mouth (orally). And there is the added problem that if you are sick after you've taken it, you don't always know whether you've brought it up or not.

With cancer drug treatment, you usually have anti sickness drugs as injections with the treatment and then anti sickness tablets to take home with you afterwards.

Problems swallowing medicines

You could have your drugs by injection or through a drip if you are in hospital and are having problems with swallowing medicines.

Speak to your doctor or nurse if you are at home and tablets are causing you problems. They might suggest:

  • suppositories into your back passage, anti sickness suppositories can stop you feeling sick for 8 hours or more
  • a tablet you can dissolve under your tongue to get a drug into your bloodstream very quickly
  • a syringe driver to give a continuous slow infusion of anti sickness drugs

Anti sickness medicines that can be given through a syringe driver include:

  • metoclopramide (Maxolon)
  • haloperidol
  • prochlorperazine
  • levomepromazine
  • cyclizine

Your district nurse can also give you injections of anti sickness drug just under the skin once or twice a day. Or you can have the drug through a small needle taped to the skin, so you don't have to have an injection each time.

Last reviewed: 
26 Jan 2015
  • Cancer: Principles and practice of oncology (10th edition)
    VT DeVita, S Hellman, SA Rosenberg, TS Lawrence
    Lipincott Williams and Wilkins, 2015

  • Symptom management in advanced cancer (4th edition)
    R Twycross , A Wilcock and S Toller
    Radcliffe Medical Press Ltd, 2009

  • The Royal Marsden Hospital Manual of Clinical Nursing Procedures (9th Edition)
    L Dougherty and S Lister (Editors)
    Wiley-Blackwell, 2015

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