Antiemetic Therapy in Patients Receiving Cancer Chemotherapy

Cassandra Marek

ONF 2003, 30(2), 259-271. DOI: 10.1188/03.ONF.259-271

Purpose/Objectives: To examine the currently available antiemetic medications and review their uses in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (N&V).

Data Sources: Published articles and book chapters.

Data Synthesis: N&V is a common yet potentially serious side effect of chemotherapy. Nurses must understand the physiology of N&V, its impact on patients, and the proper use of antiemetic medications to effectively manage this problem. Antiemetic medications vary in mechanism of action, indications for use, and adverse effects.

Conclusions: Nurses are in a position to identify patients who are at risk for N&V and to manage their care using accepted practice guidelines.

Implications for Nursing: Although practice guidelines have been established, the nurse's role in assessment and implementation of care is critical in the prevention and management of chemotherapy-induced N&V.

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