Unless you’re going through a very gradual process of rejuvenation, usually under medical supervision, withdrawal symptoms are a normal and expected part of alcohol and drug use. Two common withdrawal symptoms are nausea (a feeling of stomach sickness) and vomiting.
Withdrawal Nausea and vomiting are uncomfortable and uncomfortable symptoms that occur in people who are addicted to certain drugs, especially alcohol and opiates, or even after they develop addiction after a period of heavy substance use. Symptoms can range from mild to severe.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the National Substance Abuse and Mental Health Agency (SAMHSA) helpline at 1-800-662-4357 Information about support and treatment facilities in your area.
Additional mental health resources can be found in our National Helpline Database.
How to deal with nausea and vomiting
The following strategies can help control nausea and vomiting during withdrawal. These symptoms often gradually worsen over the first two to three days after you last used any drugs or alcohol. Symptoms of nausea can appear approximately six to 12 hours after your last drink. Vomiting can occur for the first 12 to 24 hours.
- Over-the-counter medicines:: Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subcarbonate) may help relieve symptoms.
- acupuncture: Acupuncture has been shown to provide some relief..If you can’t get an acupuncturist to visit, you can stimulate the point associated with nausea relief by placing the area on your wrist about two inches from the crease at the base of your hand, right between the tendons, squeeze or massage gently.
- Hydration: One of the main risks associated with vomiting is dehydration. So get plenty of water or other clear drinks.
- Electrolyte replacement: Fluid loss isn’t the only problem with dehydration; You also risk losing electrolytes, especially if you also have diarrhea. Drinking rehydration fluid, available at drug stores, can help you avoid this. You can also add one teaspoon of sugar and one teaspoon of salt to two liters of water to make your own inexpensive rehydration fluid.
- diet: You may prefer to avoid foods until the initial acute phase of withdrawal has passed. However, with some drugs, such as opiates, this can take several days to a week. When you feel able to eat, choose bland foods like toast, white rice, and bananas and avoid spicy foods.
When to seek medical help
Remember, nausea and vomiting are normal parts of withdrawal. If these symptoms persist, they could indicate another underlying medical condition, such as pregnancy, food poisoning, migraine headaches, or stomach ulcers.
Ask your doctor if the withdrawal symptoms, nausea and vomiting, have persisted within a week of stopping drug or alcohol use. Your doctor can rule out or treat other possible causes.
The wear and tear caused by repeated vomiting can lead to vomiting of blood. However, blood in your vomit can indicate a very serious medical condition. If at any time you see blood in your vomit you should see a doctor right away.
Other symptoms of alcohol withdrawal
In addition to nausea and vomiting, people with alcohol withdrawal syndrome may experience other symptoms, including:..
- a headache
- Fast heartbeat
- high blood pressure
- Mood swings
- Cloudy thinking
- Damp skin
- Trouble sleeping
- Loss of appetite
As with nausea and vomiting, these symptoms may indicate another medical condition if they don’t go away after about a week of using alcohol or drugs. You should consult a doctor. Persistent feelings of depression or anxiety, or severe, uncontrollable mood swings may indicate that you have another disease that may need treatment.
Severe alcohol withdrawal
A more serious and potentially fatal form of alcohol withdrawal called delirium tremens (DT) can occur, especially if alcohol use has been severe and protracted..Symptoms usually start 48 to 96 hours after the last drink and can include:
- Problems focusing
- Mood swings
- Changes in blood pressure
- Fast heart rate
If you or someone you love has any of these symptoms after they stop drinking, it could be a sign of a medical emergency. You should therefore seek treatment immediately.
A word from Verywell
Talk to your doctor if you’ve developed an alcohol addiction and want to stop drinking. Your doctor can advise you on treatment options and monitor your withdrawal. Appropriate treatment is essential to overcoming alcohol use disorders.
Medications like Ativan (Lorazepam), Klonopin (Clonazepam), and Xanax (Alprazolam) can help you manage the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Psychotherapy and support groups can also be helpful to aid long-term recovery.