Surgery is another possible cause of nausea and vomiting; however, not all types of surgery are likely to cause nausea and vomiting. Surgeries involving the abdomen (stomach area), eye, ears, nose, and throat are most likely to cause nausea or vomiting. Certain people are at higher risk for postoperative nausea and vomiting, including the following people:
- People who get motion sickness
- People who have had nausea or vomiting after surgery in the past
- People who do not smoke
- People who will use certain morphine-like medications ("opioids") after surgery.
Your healthcare provider will take all these factors into consideration when deciding if you will need medication to prevent nausea and vomiting.
Aloxi is approved to help prevent nausea and vomiting due to surgery. It is given by IV as a single dose just before the start of anesthesia and lasts for up to 24 hours.
Nausea (upset stomach) and vomiting are complex processes involving many chemicals in the body and several parts of the body, including the brain and the small intestine. It is likely that Aloxi works in the small intestine, but it may also work in the brain.
The medication works by blocking serotonin, a chemical produced by the body that is associated with nausea and vomiting. Serotonin has many effects in the body and has several receptors where it can bind. Aloxi blocks serotonin at a specific type of receptor (the 5-HT3 receptor), which is important for nausea and vomiting. It has no effects on other types of serotonin receptors in the body.
Aloxi is not approved for use in children. Talk to your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using the drug in children.