There are different ways of having anti sickness medicines. Sometimes you have medicines to swallow, but this isn’t always possible.
Ways of taking anti sickness medicines
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 medicines as injections with the treatment and then anti sickness tablets to take home with you afterwards.
Problems swallowing medicines
You could have your medicines by injection or through a drip if you are in hospital and are having problems with swallowing medicines. Drugs given by an injection usually work very quickly.
An injection into a vein is called an intravenous injection (IV). You have the injection through a small tube (cannula) put into a vein in one of your arms. This can stay in for a few days if needed.
You can have anti sickness drugs through your central line, if you have one. A central line is a long flexible plastic tube. These are called central lines because they end up in a central blood vessel in your chest, close to your heart.
Having anti sickness drugs at home
Speak to your doctor or nurse if you are at home and tablets are causing you problems. They might suggest:
- a tablet you can dissolve under your tongue to get a drug into your bloodstream very quickly
- a patch that sticks on your skin like a plaster, the drug slowly passes through your skin into your body
- a syringe pump to give a continuous slow infusion of anti sickness drugs
Anti sickness medicines that can be given through a syringe pump include:
Your district nurse can also give you injections of anti sickness medicine into the layer of fat just under your skin, once or twice a day. This is also called a subcutaneous injection.
Or you can have the medicine through a small plastic tube taped to the skin, so you don't have to have an injection under your skin each time.