The term "emetic" comes from the Greek emein which means "vomit". The term describes a substance which can trigger vomiting. An antiemetic is a substance which can prevent or abolish vomiting.
What are they?
The antiemetics are typically used in anticancer chemotherapy, in nausea following a surgical procedure, or simply for travel sickness. They are given orally (tablets, capsules, etc.) or intravenously, depending on how severe the symptoms are.
How do the antiemetics work ?
They are neurotransmitter receptor antagonists. They excite the vomit centre which is located in the brain stem. In simple terms they act on the nerve centres of the brain which control vomiting. They can also act by relaxing the muscles in the lower part of the stomach.
Source: Ordre national des Pharmaciens, April 2011
An antiemetic is a substance which prevents vomiting. © Phovoir