Migraine Term of the Day: Antiemetic

Writer’s note: Some of you have expressed an interest in learning more of the medical terminology that comes up when discussing migraine disease and other headache disorders. So, I’ll be posting a “term of the day,” on a regular basis. If there are terms you’d like to have defined, please leave a comment below.

When we’re given migraine and headache information, whether from our doctor, a book, or an online article, we sometimes come across medical terms that can be confusing. While it’s easy enough to substitute another word or a short phrase for the medical term, there are times when substituting doesn’t quite convey the same meaning.

Antiemetic is one of those terms. It’s often used when talking about migraine medications and treatments, so it’s an important word for migraineurs to understand.


An antiemetic is a medication taken to prevent or treat nausea and vomiting.

Here’s an example of how it’s used in a sentence:

One of the most frequently used types of medications are antiemetics because of the potentially severe nausea and vomiting that can occur during a Migraine attack.


When Migraine abortive medications such as the triptans work well, they stop all of our Migraine symptoms, including nausea and vomiting. Still, antiemetics such as prochlorperazine (Compazine), promethazine (Phenergan), and others, are often used to address nausea and vomiting while we wait for our other acute medications to take effect..

For more terms, see our Migraine Medical Terms Glossary Index.

Reviewed by David Watson, MD.

© Teri Robert, 2017.

Teri Robert is a leading patient educator and advocate in the area of migraine and other headache disorders, and has been writing for the HealthCentral migraine site since 2007. She is a co-founder of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy and the American Headache and Migraine Association. She received the National Headache Foundation’s Patient Partners Award for “ongoing patient education, support, and advocacy,” in 2004 and a Distinguished Service Award from the American Headache Society in 2013. You can find links to Teri’s work on her web site and blog and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.


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