Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting (CINV)

Introduction to Chemotherapy-induced Nausea and Vomiting (CINV)

Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) are common adverse effects of chemotherapy that can significantly impair a patient's quality of life. CINV is caused by chemotherapy agents that induce vomiting as a side effect of treatment. The symptoms of CINV can range from mild to severe and can occur before, during, or after chemotherapy. CINV can also increase the risk of other related illnesses, such as dehydration, poor nutrition, and poor outcomes from treatment. Treatment of CINV is important to reduce the risk of associated illnesses and to improve patients' quality of life.

Types & Symptoms of CINV

There are three types of CINV – acute CINV, delayed CINV and anticipatory CINV. Acute CINV occurs within 24 hours after administration of chemotherapy drugs, and can last up to 5 days after chemotherapy is completed. Symptoms of acute CINV include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal discomfort.

Delayed CINV usually occurs more than 24 hours after chemotherapy, and can last up to one week after chemotherapy is completed. Symptoms of delayed CINV can include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal discomfort.

Anticipatory CINV can occur due to previous episodes of CINV, and is characterized by nausea and vomiting before the administration of chemotherapy. Symptoms of anticipatory CINV can include difficulty focusing, abdominal discomfort, and heightened sensitivity to smells.

Treatment for CINV

Treatment for CINV can vary, depending on the type and severity of the symptoms. Management strategies may include:

  • Antiemetics: Antiemetics are drugs that can reduce nausea and vomiting, and can be taken before, during, and after chemotherapy.
  • Acupressure: Acupressure is an ancient Chinese healing technique that can be used to relieve nausea and vomiting.
  • Relaxation Techniques: Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, mindfulness meditation, and guided imagery can help to reduce the symptoms of CINV.
  • Diet Changes: A diet that is low in fat and high in carbs may help to reduce the risk of CINV.

To prevent CINV, it is important to talk to your doctor before starting chemotherapy to discuss treatment options. Treatment of CINV can significantly improve the quality of life of patients undergoing chemotherapy.