HF 6569

Managing Nausea from Cancer Treatments

Nausea is an unsettled feeling in your stomach, and you may feel like you are going to throw up (vomit). It is a side effect of chemotherapy that can be treated. It is not something you have to live with. If, when and how much nausea you have will depend on which chemotherapy you received.

Your doctors and nurses try to lessen or relieve nausea with anti-nausea medicines that you get based on your chemotherapy.

Ways to Manage Nausea

  • Eat small meals and snacks. Try eating 5-6 small meals a day rather than 3 large meals.

  • Eat and drink food that is gentle on your stomach such as plain crackers, cereal, toast, gelatin, and flat soda at room temperature.

  • Avoid drinking a lot before and during meals. Have sips of fluid throughout the day.

  • Avoid eating and drinking food that is too hot or too cold.

  • Avoid lying down after you eat.

  • Avoid strong smells.

  • Suck on small bites of ice or popsicles.

  • Suck on mints or tart candies.

  • Relaxation/meditation.

  • Slow deep breaths.

  • Meet with a registered dietitian at UW Carbone Cancer Center for tips to manage nausea.

Anti-nausea Medicines

You take these medicines to lessen or relieve nausea. They are prescribed as “schedule/routine” or “as needed.”

Take routine anti-nausea medicine on time as prescribed. Take even if you do not have nausea.

Take “as needed” anti-nausea medicine as soon as you first feel nausea. If you wait until your nausea gets worse, the anti-nausea medicine will not work as well.

When to Call

  • Nausea is not controlled even when using anti-nausea medicine.

  • You cannot take your medicine because of nausea or vomiting.

Who to Call

UW Carbone Cancer Center, Madison
(608) 265-1700

1 S Park Medical Center, Madison
(608) 287-2000

UW Carbone Cancer Center, Johnson Creek
(920) 699-3500

If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.