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Antiemetic Medications Chapter 52

The key terms in this Pharmacology course include Antiemetic Medications.

When planning administration of antiemetic medications to a patient, the nurse is aware that combination therapy is preferred because of what drug effect?

It is easier to achieve the desired level of sedation.

The risk of constipation is decreased.

There are faster drug absorption and distribution.

Different vomiting pathways are blocked.

Combining antiemetic drugs from various categories allows the blocking of the vomiting center and chemoreceptor trigger zone (CTZ) through different pathways, thus enhancing the antiemetic effect.

In developing a plan of care for a patient receiving an antihistamine antiemetic drug, what nursing diagnosis would be the highest priority?

Risk for injury related to adverse effects of medication

Impaired physical mobility related to adverse effects of drugs

Deficient knowledge regarding medication administration

Deficient fluid volume related to nausea and vomiting

Although all of the options are appropriate nursing diagnoses, fluid volume deficit is the highest priority because it has the highest associated mortality rate. Although a fall or injury could also prove fatal, this diagnosis is a risk; actual nursing diagnoses have priority over potential diagnoses.

Antiemetic Medications – Pharmacology for Nurses

The nurse recognizes that metoclopramide is often used in treatment of nausea and vomiting associated with antineoplastic drug therapy or radiation therapy in patients due to what action of the medication?

It promotes motility in the small intestine.

It decreases peristalsis in the intestinal wall.

It inhibits chemoreceptor stimulation.

It improves the body’s response to analgesia.

Metoclopramide works by increasing gastrointestinal (GI) motility in the small intestine, thus minimizing gastric distention and accompanying stimulation of the vomiting center.

What patient statement indicates the need for further teaching about antiemetic medications?

“I will apply the scopolamine patch to my right or left arm and rotate sites of application.”

“I should take my prescribed antiemetic before receiving my chemotherapy dose.”

“I will not drive while I am taking these medications because they may cause drowsiness.”

“I may take Tylenol to treat the headache caused by ondansetron.”

Transdermal scopolamine patches should be applied to areas behind the ear, not on the arms.

The nurse would teach a patient about what antiemetic commonly used to prevent motion sickness?





Scopolamine has potent effects on the vestibular nuclei, which are located in the area of the brain that controls balance. These effects make scopolamine one of the most commonly used drugs for the treatment and prevention of nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness.

What drug works by blocking serotonin receptors in the GI tract, vomiting center, and chemoreceptor trigger zone?





Ondansetron is a serotonin blocker. Metoclopramide is a prokinetic drug, meclizine is an antihistamine, and droperidol is an antidopaminergic drug.