Nausea can be intermittent or persistent, and either with or without vomiting. If uncontrolled in the short term, nausea and vomiting may impact of the patient’s compliance with other supportive treatments (e.g., opioid analgesics).

In the long term, nausea and vomiting has implications on nutritional status, psychological wellbeing and quality of life. Nausea is common in the terminal phase of a palliative illness.

Medicines Information

Open Access

palliAGEDgp smartphone application (available as an app or as online content) Tasmanian Adult Palliative Care Formulary


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Therapeutic Guidelines: Palliative Care Australian Medicines Handbook (AMH)


  • Ask about what the patient is trying to eat – meals that are too large, or unusual diets, can often make nausea worse
  • If the smell of food causes nausea, try switching to cold meals like salads, or serve food at room temperature
  • Meals should be little and often
  • Focus on what the person enjoys, and forget about 'healthy' foods

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Page updated 18 September 2018