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Palliative Pearl:

Isopropyl Alcohol for Nausea

May 2019 –

Another new study showed inhaled isopropyl alcohol significantly reduced nausea, this time in patients in the ED.

Several studies have shown inhaled isopropyl alcohol can provide rapid relief of nausea. It may perform well enough to avoid systemic anti-emetics or provide enough nausea control that longer acting, oral anti-emetics may be tolerated.

Open an alcohol pad and have patient hold it near the nose, inhaling deeply through the nose as often as required to relieve nausea. Repeat with a new pad every 10 minutes as necessary.

April et al, Annals of Emergency Medicine, 2018.
Hines et al, Cochran Database of Syst Rev 2018
Smiler, Anaesth Analg, 1998;87:1211
Ann Emerg Med 2016 Jul;68(1):1-9

For more information contact Dr. Leslie Estep or Dr. Anita Meyer at Hospice of the Northwest, (360) 814-5550, or or

All Palliative Pearls and other resources can be found under the provider tab at

About Hospice of the Northwest

Hospice of the Northwest is a skilled, caring and compassionate team of nursing, medical, social and spiritual professionals, volunteers and generous donors. Together, we provide comprehensive care and comfort for patients facing serious illness and the loved ones who care for them. We’ve been serving the residents of Skagit, Island, San Juan and Snohomish Counties since 1989.

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