What is supportive care for cyclic vomiting syndrome

Updated: Oct 31, 2018
  • Author: Thangam Venkatesan, MD; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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When both prophylactic and abortive therapy fails, supportive care becomes an essential aspect of treatment during acute episodes.

IV glucose-containing fluids may diminish the severity of episodes by as much as 42%. [48] Glucose may serve as the active ingredient by truncating the ketosis. However, the abdominal pain may be severe enough to necessitate the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or narcotics once a surgical abdomen has been excluded. Caution must be exercised when narcotics are administered for moderate to severe pain and patients must be monitored to ensure that they do not become dependent on or addicted to these agents.

Chronic opiate use can result in hyperalgesia, for which various mechanisms have been proposed. Sustained morphine administration increased substance P (SP) and NK-1 receptor expression in the spinal dorsal. Morphine-induced hyperalgesia was reversed by spinal administration of NK-1 receptor antagonists in rats and mice and was observed in wild-type NK-1 receptor positive mice but not in NK-1 receptor knockout (KO) mice. [64]

The transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) receptor, a molecular sensor of noxious heat, also plays an important role in the development of hyperalgesia. Administration of morphine via subcutaneously implanted morphine pellets elicited both thermal and tactile hypersensitivity in TRPV1 wild-type mice but not in TRPV1 KO mice. [65] Moreover, oral administration of a TRPV1 antagonist reversed both thermal and tactile hypersensitivity induced by sustained morphine administration in mice and rats.

Sedatives such as diphenhydramine, lorazepam, and chlorpromazine have been administered to permit sleep and to provide temporary respite from unrelenting nausea. [48] The combination of lorazepam and ondansetron appears to be more effective than ondansetron alone.

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