Women health

What is the best medicine for diarrhea and vomiting?

Vomiting and diarrhea are frequent symptoms that can afflict anyone, from infants and young children to adults.

These two signs typically indicate a stomach illness or food poisoning, and they go away in a few days. The only real treatment required is generally some rest and a lot of drinks to prevent dehydration.

There are other potential reasons for vomiting and diarrhea at the same time, besides viruses, which are typically to blame. These include several medical disorders and drugs.

The root causes of simultaneous vomiting and diarrhea

For a variety of reasons, vomiting and diarrhea can occur simultaneously.

In children, the most frequent cause is a bacterial or viral gastrointestinal (GI) infection.

Adults are not immune from these infections. Aside from excessive alcohol consumption or pregnancy, there are a number of other factors that might cause similar symptoms in an adult.

1. Viral gastritis

Intestinal infection is viral gastroenteritis. Although viral gastroenteritis is frequently referred to as the stomach flu, it is unrelated to influenza (the flu) and is brought on by separate viruses.

The following viruses are the most frequently responsible for gastroenteritis:

  1. norovirus
  2. rotavirus
  3. adenovirus
  4. astrovirus

Although all of these viruses can infect persons of any age, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases reports that the latter three are most prevalent in newborns and young children.

By coming into contact with infected vomit and stool, these viruses can spread from one person to another. This can happen if a person who has the infection does not fully wash their hands after using the bathroom and then touches objects that other people use or prepare food for other people.

The following are signs of viral gastroenteritis in addition to vomiting and watery diarrhea:

  1. aches and cramps in the stomach
  2. nausea
  3. periodically, fever


Irritable bowel syndrome comes in a number of different forms (IBS).

Post-infectious irritated bowel syndrome is one form (PI-IBS). IBS-PI is brought on by an infection (usually gastroenteritis).

Numerous persons with IBS were questioned in a sizable 2018 study concerning their experiences. Data was gathered from 2008 to 2015. Nearly half of the respondents were Italian and came from various other nations.

13.3% of the responders had IBS, the researchers discovered, which may have been brought on by an infection. The researchers noted that this figure was consistent with earlier studies, which indicated that 6 to 17 percent of IBS cases were PI-IBS.

2. Contaminated food

A GI tract infection is food poisoning. Although viruses and parasites can also cause it, bacteria are most frequently at blame.

Consuming contaminated food can cause food illness. When food is handled improperly or improperly cooked, this can occur both at home and in restaurants.

Food poisoning can be brought on by a number of germs, including:

  1. E. coli
  2. Campylobacter
  3. Listeriosis monocytogenes
  4. Salmonella
  5. Shigella
  6. A streptococcal infection

After consuming contaminated food, symptoms of food poisoning can appear hours later and often go away in a few hours to a few days. Typically, this takes place without any special care.

The most frequent symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea which is watery. Other signs comprise:

  1. cramps and discomfort in the abdomen
  2. nausea
  3. fever
  4. vomiting blood

3. diarrhea caused by travel

Viruses, parasites, or bacteria found in water or food are frequently to blame for the digestive tract illness known as traveler's diarrhea. When you travel to a place with different weather or sanitary standards than what you're used to at home, it's most likely to happen.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website to discover whether there is a health notice for the areas you have just visited (CDC).

It usually takes a week for a traveler's diarrhea to go away. The most typical signs and symptoms of traveler's diarrhea are watery diarrhea and cramps, although other symptoms include:

  1. nausea
  2. fever
  3. flatulence (gas)
  4. bloating
  5. the sudden urge to go to the bathroom, also known as tenesmus

4. Anxiety or stress

According to research, stress and anxiety can affect how well the gastrointestinal system functions and they can also lead to a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms, such as:

  1. nausea
  2. constipation
  3. indigestion
  4. heartburn

Your body's stress chemicals impede the motility—or movement—in your stomach and small intestine. They also cause the big intestine to become more motile.

Additionally, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease have also been associated with the onset and progression of stress and anxiety (IBD).

5. Pregnancy

Throughout pregnancy, the body goes through a lot of changes.

The most typical reason for vomiting during pregnancy is morning sickness. Despite its name, morning sickness can happen at any hour of the day. It often occurs in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy and affects over 75% of pregnant women.

Hyperemesis gravidarum, a disorder that causes extreme nausea and vomiting, can happen to some people.

Pregnancy-related hormonal changes, new food sensitivities, and nutritional changes can all lead to vomiting and diarrhea. Some people get diarrhea after taking prenatal vitamins.

The gastroenteritis that is typical during pregnancy may potentially be the source of these symptoms.

6. Excessive eating or drinking

Vomiting and diarrhea can result from overindulging in food or drink in addition to:

  1. indigestion
  2. heartburn
  3. belching
  4. a sense of uncomfortably high fullness

Food quality is important as well. Large portions of oily or sweet foods might aggravate your stomach and result in vomiting and diarrhea.

If you already have a digestive disorder, such as IBS, stomach ulcers, acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, overeating is even more likely to result in these symptoms (GERD).

It's complicated how alcohol affects the digestive system. By causing a faster gut transit time, some types of alcohol, notably sugary drinks, can cause diarrhea. As a result, the gut doesn't have time to absorb the nutrients or other chemicals that are quickly traveling through it, which slows down digestion.

Alcoholic gastritis is a disorder where the stomach lining becomes irritated and is brought on by excessive alcohol use. Alcohol abusers who binge drink may develop acute gastritis, whereas those who drink frequently may develop chronic gastritis.

Gastritis may lead to:

  1. burning in the upper abdomen
  2. nausea
  3. bloating
  4. regurgitation

after-meal symptoms that either get better or get worse depending on the food

ALSO READ: Home Remedies for Upset Stomach and Diarrhea

7. Medications

Many drugs can cause diarrhea and vomiting as side effects. These symptoms are more likely to be caused by some than by others. This may be due to the way the drug functions or the presence of stomach-irritating chemicals in the drug.

Your age, general health, and other medications may also influence the likelihood of side effects.

The following drugs frequently result in nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea:

  1. certain antibiotics
  2. Aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) are examples of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs).
  3. chemotherapeutic agents
  4. metformin (Fortamet, Glumetza) (Fortamet, Glumetza)

By eradicating the "good" bacteria that typically reside in your GI tract, antibiotics can also result in vomiting and diarrhea. This enables a type of bacterium called Clostridioides difficile to overgrow, which may cause symptoms that are severe forms of food poisoning.

Occasionally, taking medication with food can help with symptoms. Ask your doctor for advice on how to take your medication most effectively.

Diarrhea and vomiting but no fever

Without a temperature, vomiting and diarrhea may be brought on by:

  1. Anxiety and stress
  2. pregnancy
  3. medications
  4. ingesting excessive amounts of food or booze

Viral gastroenteritis in milder forms can also result in nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea without a fever.

Risks associated with dehydration

Vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration, which happens when the body loses too much fluid. Your cells, tissues, and organs can become damaged by dehydration, which can cause life-threatening problems like shock and even death.

While mild dehydration can be treated at home, severe dehydration needs hospital emergency treatment.

Dehydration in infants, toddlers, and kids can cause the following symptoms:

  1. thirst
  2. lasting three or more hours without a wet diaper or peeing less frequently than normal
  3. sunkissed cheeks or eyes
  4. reduced elasticity or turgor of the skin
  5. not enough energy
  6. Absence of sobbing tears

Adult symptoms include:

  1. severe thirst
  2. fewer urines than normal
  3. mouth ache
  4. sunkissed cheeks or eyes
  5. lower skin turgor
  6. fatigue
  7. lightheadedness
  8. urine with a dark color

Vomiting and diarrhea treatment at home

Vomiting and diarrhea typically go away on their own in a few days without medical intervention. You can manage your symptoms and prevent dehydration by using over-the-counter medicines and home treatments.

A home remedy

Here are some remedies you can use at home to alleviate nausea and diarrhea and prevent dehydration:

  1. Get lots of sleep.
  2. Attempt to relax.
  3. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
  4. A lot of clear liquids should be consumed, such as water, broth, clear sodas, and sports drinks.
  5. Consume saltines.
  6. Consider adopting the BRAT diet, which emphasizes bland foods. BRAT stands for toast, rice, bananas, and applesauce.
  7. Steer clear of foods that are fatty, spicy, or loaded with sugar and fat.
  8. Beware of dairy.
  9. Prevent caffeine.

If you have young children, heed the following advice:

  1. If necessary, feed your infant more frequently and in smaller amounts.
  2. Drink a little water in between feedings of formula or solid food.
  3. Give them a Pedialyte or other oral rehydration drink.


For vomiting and diarrhea, there are both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription treatments. OTC drugs should not be taken without first visiting a doctor, despite the fact that they are typically safe for adults.

Among the OTC medicines are:

  1. Subsalicylic acid of bismuth (Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate)
  2. loperamide (Imodium) (Imodium)
  3. dimenhydrinate is a component of several antiemetic medications, including Dramamine and Gravol.

When a bacterial infection, such as food poisoning, causes vomiting and diarrhea, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics.

When to consult a doctor

It's important to eat and stay hydrated when you're having vomiting and diarrhea.

First, try at-home remedies to see if they help if an infection like gastroenteritis is the source of your symptoms. Professional medical attention can be required in other circumstances.

For children

If a youngster experiences any of the following:

  1. are experiencing diarrhea or vomiting for longer than two days or both
  2. can't keep liquids down
  3. a rectal temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) in infants younger than three months
  4. Their temperature is 102.2 °F (39 °C) and they are between 3 months and 3 years old.

have dehydration-related symptoms and are younger than 5 years old, including:

  1. dry mucous membranes
  2. drowsiness
  3. When you comfort them, their hostility doesn't go away.

In the case of a youngster unable to articulate their own symptoms, it is crucial to seek medical attention for possible dehydration.

When to use an emergency room

Bring a child to the hospital emergency room if they:

  1. after using an oral rehydration solution, you still feel dehydrated
  2. vomit that is green or yellow, a sign of a minor intestinal obstruction
  3. or what appears to be coffee grinds, are vomiting
  4. pee or feces contains blood
  5. not strong enough to stand

For adult

Consult a doctor if:

  1. After rehydrating with liquids and an oral hydration solution, you are still dehydrated.
  2. you have experienced diarrhea or vomiting for more than two days in a row.
  3. You have green or yellow vomit, which may indicate a slight bowel obstruction.
  4. You're spitting up what appears to be coffee grounds or blood.
  5. you have rectal bleeding or bloody diarrhea
  6. You have trouble keeping fluids down.

What to remember

Usually, a stomach bug or food poisoning is to blame for vomiting and diarrhea, and these symptoms go away on their own within a few days. Consuming a bland diet and drinking plenty of water can be beneficial.

Watch for dehydration symptoms, especially in young children who are unable to express their feelings. Consult a doctor if you or your kid experience severe symptoms or symptoms that linger for more than a few days.

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