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What causes vomiting?

Gastroenteritis

One of the most common causes of vomiting in adults is gastroenteritis. This is an infection of the gut usually caused by bacteria or a virus, such as a norovirus. Gastroenteritis also causes diarrhoea. Your immune system will usually fight off the infection after a few days.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy can cause vomiting. Pregnant women are especially likely to vomit from about the sixth to the 14th week. If your morning sickness is worrying you, talk to your doctor or midwife.

Migraine

In migraine vomiting usually begins at the same time as the throbbing headache and disappears once the headache eases. Your doctor will be able to prescribe medication to help relieve this.

Appendicitis

Appendicitis is a medical emergency. It can cause vomiting, you may also have severe pain in your abdomen and your appendix will need to be removed.

If you are concerned you may have appendicitis you should go immediately to see your doctor or to the emergency department or call an ambulance on triple zero (000).

Labyrinthitis

Labyrinthitis is an inner ear disorder that also causes dizziness and a feeling of spinning.

Your doctor may prescribe medication to relieve your symptoms until it resolves, which may take several weeks.

Other causes of vomiting in adults

The following can also cause vomiting in adults:

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about your vomiting, check your symptoms with healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Last reviewed: July 2017

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Found 3378 results

Kids' Health - Topics - Gastro - a tummy bug

Gastro, or gastroenteritis (gas-tro-en-ter-eye-tus) to give it the full title, is the name we give to an illness which causes vomiting and diarrhoea (runny poo).

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Nausea and Vomiting (Emesis) | myVMC

Vomiting can also be referred to as emesis, and consists of three stages: nausea is an unpleasant sensation of wanting to vomit; retching is a strong involuntary effort to vomit; and vomiting is the forceful expulsion of the stomach's contents through the mouth. Nausea and vomiting can be caused by a wide range of stimuli, including illness, drugs and psychological factors.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Gastroenteritis or gastro: kids & teens | Raising Children Network

Lots of children get gastroenteritis or gastro. It causes diarrhoea and vomiting. If your child has gastro, make sure your child gets enough fluid.

Read more on Raising Children Network website

Self Management | Epilepsy Action Australia

Medications are only part of the management of epilepsy. Self management involves taking control of the way you think and feel about epilepsy. Learn more.

Read more on Epilepsy Action Australia website

Droleptan | myVMC

Droleptan is a medicine with anaesthetic, anti-emetic and anti-psychotic effects. It sedates, reduces vomiting and nausea and treats psychosis.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Norovirus

Norovirus is a type of virus that causes gastroenteritis, with vomiting and diarrhoea.

Read more on WA Health website

Kytril tablets (granisetron) information | myVMC

Kytril tablets are used to prevent vomiting and nausea caused by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. They contain granisetron, a 5HT3-receptor antagonist.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Aloxi | myVMC

Aloxi is used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by cytotoxic chemotherapy. It contains palonosetron hydrochloride, a serotonin receptor inhibitor.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Maxolon (metoclopramide hydrochloride) information | myVMC

Maxolon (metoclopramide hydrochloride) tablets and ampoules are used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by various diseases, therapy, and medication.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Safe cooling of cooked rice

Uncooked rice often contains the bacteria Bacillus cereus. These bacteria can form protective spores that survive the cooking process and if the rice is cooled slowly, these bacteria spores can germinate, grow and produce a toxin (poison) that causes vomiting

Read more on WA Health website

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