Nausea and Vomiting and How to Treat and Prevent It

How to treat nausea and vomiting

There are many over-the-counter medications or prescription medications to treat vomiting.
There are many over-the-counter medications or prescription medications to treat vomiting.

If you experience nausea, you can control it by the following methods:

  1. Drink clear or ice-cold drinks
  2. Avoid brushing your teeth after eating
  3. Eat light, bland foods such as crackers or plain bread (BRAT food)
  4. Do not mix hot and cold foods
  5. Avoid fried, greasy, or sweet foods
  6. Eat slowly, smaller, more frequent meals
  7. Drink beverages slowly
  8. Avoid activity after eating
  9. Avoid milk products for the first 24-48 hours
  10. Choose foods from all the food groups to get essential nutrients
  11. Divert yourself with soft music, TV program, or by talking with someone
  12. Avoid low-fat foods

If you experience vomiting, you can control it by the following methods:

  1. Resting
  2. Temporarily discontinuing medications that may irritate the stomach and make vomiting worse
  3. Avoiding solid food until the vomiting episode has passed
  4. Drinking a large amount of clear water, sip by sip

If vomiting and diarrhea persist for more than 24 hours, you should take oral rehydration salt (ORS) to prevent dehydration.

There are many over-the-counter medications or prescription medications to treat vomiting. Vomiting linked with surgery, radiation therapy, anticancer drugs, alcohol, and morphine needs another type of drug therapy for its treatment.

Medications commonly used to treat nausea and vomiting (antiemetic) includes:

How to prevent nausea and vomiting

Prevention methods for nausea include:

  • Eating slowly
  • Avoiding hard-to-digest foods
  • Eating small meals throughout the day instead of three large meals
  • Consuming foods at room temperature
  • Avoiding obnoxious odors that would instigate nausea
  • Drinking water between the meals rather than during the meals
  • Drinking at least six- to eight-ounce glasses of water a day
  • Avoiding stuffing yourself and trying to eat less when you feel nauseated
  • Resting with your head elevated 12 inches above your feet after having a meal
  • Avoiding skipping meals or snacks
  • Using butter, oils, syrups, sauces, and milk in foods to increase calories

Prevention methods of vomiting include:

  • Consuming small amounts of clear, sweetened liquids, such as fruit juices or soda pop
  • Avoiding orange or grapefruit juices because they are extremely acidic
  • Resting either in a sitting or proper sleeping position
  • Avoiding allowing kids to eat and play at the same time

You should consume certain foods and avoid certain foods while feeling nauseated, which is shown in the food chart.


Type of foods


Foods to eat


Foods to avoid


Protein foods

  • Boiled or baked meat, fish, and poultry; cold meat or fish salad
  • Well-cooked eggs
  • Cream soups made with low-fat milk
  • Non-fat yogurt
  • Juice-type commercial protein supplements (Ensure Clear) blended with ice and eaten with a spoon
  • Cottage cheese
  • Cold sandwiches
  • Fatty and fried meats, such as sausage or bacon
  • Fried eggs
  • Milkshakes (unless made with low-fat milk and ice cream)

Bread, cereals, rice, and pasta

  • Saltines, soda crackers, bread, toast, pretzels, cold cereal, English muffins, and bagels
  • Plain noodles and white rice
  • Doughnuts, pastries, waffles, pancakes, and muffins

Fruits and vegetables

  • Potatoes (baked, boiled, or mashed)
  • Canned or fresh fruits, vegetables as tolerated (do not eat if appetite is poor or nausea is severe)
  • Potato chips and fried potatoes such as French fries or hash browns
  • Breaded, fried, or creamed vegetables; vegetables with a strong odor

Drinks, desserts, and other foods

  • Ginger ale, cold fruit drinks, caffeine-free and noncarbonated soft drinks such as fruit punch and sports drinks, caffeine-free iced tea
  • Sherbet and fruit-flavored gelatin
  • Angel food cake and sponge cake; vanilla wafers
  • Pudding made with low-fat milk
  • Popsicles, juice bars, and fruit ices
  • Pretzels
  • Salt, cinnamon, and spices as tolerated
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Pie, ice cream, and rice cakes
  • Spicy salad dressings
  • Olives
  • Cream
  • Pepper, chili powder, onion, hot sauce, and seasoning mixtures


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