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Emend is a medicine that can be taken before surgery or chemotherapy to prevent nausea and vomiting. It works by preventing a chemical in the body (called substance P) from binding to certain brain receptors. The medication is available by prescription only and comes in capsule form. Most people have no problems with it, but potential side effects can include weakness, diarrhea, and hiccups.

What Is Emend?

Emend® (aprepitant) is a prescription medication used to prevent nausea and vomiting due to the following causes:
  • Chemotherapy
  • Surgery.
When used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, Emend is always used in combination with other nausea and vomiting medications. The drug is not intended to treat nausea and vomiting once it starts.
(Click Emend Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes It?

Emend is made by Merck & Co., Inc.

How Does Emend Work?

Nausea and vomiting are complex processes involving many chemicals in the body and several parts of the body, including the brain and the digestive tract. A chemical called substance P is produced by the body and acts in the brain to cause nausea and vomiting. Substance P works by binding to specific receptors in the brain called neurokinin 1 (NK-1) receptors. Emend works by blocking the NK-1 receptors, preventing substance P from binding and causing nausea and vomiting.
Emend works differently from other nausea and vomiting medications. As a result, combining it with other types of nausea or vomiting medications usually provides additional benefit.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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