Domperidone Fights Nausea Caused by Chemotherapy
Diseases such as cancer are powerful, and must be treated with powerful drugs. Unfortunately, these powerful drugs, called chemotherapy (or chemo), have powerful side effects. Chemotherapy drugs' side effects depend on the type of medications used. Because they are targeting fast-dividing cancer cells, commonly used chemotherapy medications mainly affect the fast-dividing cells of the body, such as blood cells and the cells lining the mouth, stomach, and intestines. Common side effects include:
from Flora Lorena
- Depression of the immune system, which can result in serious and even potentially fatal infections.
- Fatigue. The treatment and the cancer itself can both be physically exhausting. Fatigue can also result from cancer related anemia, which can range from mild to severe.
- Hair loss. Some medications that kill rapidly dividing cells cause dramatic hair loss; other medications may only cause hair to thin. The hair starts growing back a few weeks after the last treatment, sometimes with a tendency to curl that some refer to as a "chemo perm".
- A tendency to bleed and to bruise easily.
- Nausea and vomiting. Patients receiving chemotherapy often rank nausea and vomiting as the most severe side effects of the treatment. As a result, antiemetic (anti-sickness) drugs are standardly included in chemotherapy regimens. The nausea often disappears within a week of finishing chemotherapy treatment, but can be extremely debilitating while it is ongoing.
- Malnutrition and dehydration can result from frequent vomiting, or when a patient feels too sick to eat and drink. This can result in rapid weight loss. If the patient eats too much in an effort to fend off nausea or heartburn, he or she may gain weight.
- Chemo drugs can also cause other gastrointestinal distress such as diarrhea or constipation. Eating frequent small meals and drinking clear liquids, and ginger (such as a ginger tea) are recommended.
Prescription domperidone (brand name Motilium) is an antiemetic drug which is effective in treating both the nausea and vomiting and the gastrointestinal side effects of chemotherapy. Domperidone (name brand Motilium) is usually the medication of choice to treat gastroparesis, or delayed stomach emptying.
It belongs to the group of medications called dopamine antagonists, and works by blocking the action of a chemical messenger in the brain which causes the feeling of nausea and vomiting. Domperidone also increases the contractions of the stomach and intestines which move food through the stomach, speeding up digestion.
The FDA has yet to approve domperidone, even though it has been widely used around the world for years, and domperidone tablets are available without a prescription in many countries. Domperidone is approved in Canada, and is available through Canadian online pharmacies with a valid domperidone or Motilium prescription.
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