This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in

Chemotherapy-induced emesis

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

The nausea and vomiting associated with some chemotherapy regimes is a cause of much anxiety amongst patients. Effective control of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting is therefore a primary goal for the clinician.

When vomiting occurs soon after the administration of a cytotoxic drug, chemotherapy-induced emesis should only be diagnosed when other possible causes of vomiting have been excluded, e.g.:

  • brain metastasis
  • obstruction by the tumour
  • hypercalcaemia
  • unrelated causes, e.g. gastroenteritis or gastric ulcer

Specialists recognise three phases of nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy:

  • 'acute' (occurring within 24 hours of administration of chemotherapy);
  • 'delayed' (occurring more than 24 hours after administration and lasting for up to 5-7 days)
  • 'anticipatory' (occurring on the day or hours leading up to chemotherapy) -aticipatory nausea and vomiting generally only develop when previous chemotherapy has been followed by severe nausea and vomiting, and is believed to represent a conditioned response


  1. Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin 2005; 43 (8):57-61.
  2. Grunberg, SM. & Hesketh, PJ.. Control of chemotherapy-induced emesis. New Engl. J. Med. 1993;329(24): 1790-1796.

Related pages

Create an account to add page annotations

Add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation, such as a web address or phone number. This information will always be displayed when you visit this page

The content herein is provided for informational purposes and does not replace the need to apply professional clinical judgement when diagnosing or treating any medical condition. A licensed medical practitioner should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.


Copyright 2024 Oxbridge Solutions Limited, a subsidiary of OmniaMed Communications Limited. All rights reserved. Any distribution or duplication of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. Oxbridge Solutions receives funding from advertising but maintains editorial independence.