Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS) (cont.)
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
In this Article
- Cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS) facts
- What is cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS)?
- What are the phases of cyclic vomiting syndrome?
- What are causes, triggers, and risk factors of cyclic vomiting syndrome?
- What are cyclic vomiting syndrome symptoms and signs?
- What tests do health-care professionals use to diagnose cyclic vomiting syndrome?
- What is the treatment for cyclic vomiting syndrome?
- What specialists treat cyclic vomiting syndrome?
- Are there home remedies for cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS)? Can dietary changes help CVS?
- What are the complications if cyclic vomiting syndrome is not treated?
- What is the relationship between cyclic vomiting syndrome and migraines?
- What other features and conditions accompany cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS)? What is the prognosis for CVS?
- How common is cyclic vomiting syndrome?
- Is it possible to prevent cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS)?
- What are the genetic changes related to cyclic vomiting syndrome?
- How do people inherit cyclic vomiting syndrome?
- What other names do people use for cyclic vomiting syndrome?
- Find a local Doctor in your town
What is the treatment for cyclic vomiting syndrome?
Treatment varies, but people with cyclic vomiting syndrome generally improve after learning to control their symptoms. People with cyclic vomiting syndrome are advised to get plenty of rest and sleep and to take medications that prevent a vomiting episode, stop one in progress, speed up recovery, or relieve associated symptoms.
Once a vomiting episode begins, treatment usually requires the person to stay in bed and sleep in a dark, quiet room. Severe nausea and vomiting may require hospitalization and intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration. Sedatives may help if the nausea continues.
Sometimes, during the prodromal phase, it is possible to stop an episode from happening. People with nausea or abdominal pain before an episode can ask their doctor about taking ondansetron (Zofran) or lorazepam (Ativan) for nausea or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) for pain. Other medications that may be helpful are ranitidine (Zantac) or omeprazole (Prilosec), which help calm the stomach by lowering the amount of acid it makes.
During the recovery phase, drinking water and replacing lost electrolytes are important. Electrolytes are salts the body needs to function and stay healthy. Symptoms during the recovery phase can vary. Some people find their appetite returns to normal immediately, while others need to begin by drinking clear liquids and then move slowly to solid food.
People whose episodes are frequent and long-lasting may be treated during the symptom-free intervals in an effort to prevent or ease future episodes. Medications that help people with migraine headaches, such as propranolol (Inderal), cyproheptadine (Periactin), and amitriptyline (Elavil), are sometimes used during this phase, but they do not work for everyone. Taking the medicine daily for one to two months may be necessary before one can tell if it helps.
The symptom-free interval phase is a good time to eliminate anything known to trigger an episode. For example, if episodes are brought on by stress or excitement, a symptom-free interval phase is the time to find ways to reduce stress and stay calm. Behavioral therapy may help reduce attacks by reducing stress and anxiety.
If sinus problems or allergies cause episodes, those conditions should be treated early to reduce the chance for a CVS attack.
During an episode, anti-migraine drugs such as sumatriptan (Imitrex) may be prescribed to stop symptoms of migraine headache. The safety and efficacy of these medications has not been established in children under 18 years of age.
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