Cyclic Vomiting

Also known as: cyclic vomiting syndrome, CVS.

What is cyclic vomiting?

Cyclic vomiting is a disorder in which a person has periods of vomiting that can last anywhere from a few hours to several days. The vomiting resolves for a few weeks or months, and then returns later on. Often the episodes of vomiting occur for no apparent reason.

What causes cyclic vomiting?

The exact cause of cyclic vomiting is not entirely clear. Experts believe it may have something to do with irregularities of the nervous system, migraine events, hormones, or the way food moves through the digestive tract. Other medical conditions or environmental factors can sometimes trigger an episode of cyclic vomiting.

What are the symptoms of cyclic vomiting?

The vomiting related to cyclic vomiting can last anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days, and return within a few weeks or months. Cyclic vomiting can also be accompanied by abdominal pain, retching, gagging, lack of appetite, diarrhea, fever, headache and other symptoms.

What are cyclic vomiting care options?

Though cyclic vomiting cannot be cured, people with the disorder can take steps to avoid an episode by getting adequate sleep, by steering clear of potential vomiting triggers, or talking with their doctors about potential medical treatments that can resolve an episode early on or prevent episodes.

Medications (prophylactic medications) are also available to help during the vomiting phase of cyclic vomiting. Supportive care in the form of rest, hydration and nutrition is also important during both the vomiting phase and the recovery phase of the disease.

Reviewed by: Shifra A Koyfman, MD

This page was last updated on: January 28, 2020 09:20 AM

Pediatric Gastroenterology

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