Antiemetics are drugs useful in the treatment of vomiting. The use of antiemetics is a form of symptomatic treatment because these drugs do not necessarily correct the underlying cause of the vomiting. Many cases of vomiting in small animals can be controlled by withholding food and water for 24 to 48 hours. Other cases are more difficult to control and necessitate the use of antiemetic agents and careful attention to determine the underlying cause. Antiemetics are usually given parenterally because vomiting precludes use of oral route. 1
Antiemetic agents possess either a limited or a broad effect depending on which centers are depressed. Centrally acting antiemetics block impulses at higher centers and at the emetic (vomiting control) center, and include anticholinergics (aminopentamide hydrogen sulfate), dopamine receptor antagonists, and antihistamines which block H1 receptors at the vestibular apparatus and at the emetic center.
Vomiting caused by motion sickness or inner ear disease is mediated by vestibular apparatus. Motion sickness in dogs and cats can be controlled for several hours by administering antihistamines. 2
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