Antiemetic and Antivertigo Drugs

Vertigo And Dizziness Program

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Key Terms antiemetic antivertigo chemoreceptor trigger zone (CTZ)

vertigo vestibular neuritis vomiting

Chapter Objectives

On completion of this chapter, the student will:

• Define the terms nausea, vomiting, antiemetic, and antivertigo.

• Discuss the general drug actions, uses, adverse reactions, contraindications, precautions, and interactions of antiemetic and antivertigo drugs.

• Discuss important preadministration and ongoing assessment activities the nurse should perform on the patient receiving an antiemetic or antivertigo drug.

• List nursing diagnoses particular to a patient receiving an antiemetic or antivertigo drug.

• Use the nursing process when administering an antiemetic or antivertigo drug.

^An antiemetic drug is used to treat or prevent nausea (unpleasant gastric sensation usually preceding vomiting) or vomiting (forceful expulsion of gastric contents through the mouth). An antivertigo drug is used to treat or prevent vertigo (a feeling of a spinning or rotationtype motion) that may occur with motion sickness, Meniere's disease of the ear, middle and inner ear surgery, and other disorders.

Vomiting caused by drugs, radiation, and metabolic disorders usually occurs because of stimulation of the chemoreceptor trigger zone (CTZ), a group of nerve fibers located on the surface of the fourth ventricle of the brain. When these fibers are stimulated by chemicals, such as drugs or toxic substances, impulses are sent to the vomiting center located in the medulla. The vomiting center may also be directly stimulated by disorders such as gastrointestinal irritation, motion sickness, and vestibular neuritis (inflammation of the vestibular nerve).

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