Medical News Today: What is cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome?

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Taking pain medications may provide some relief from abdominal discomfort.

Currently, doctors do not have treatment guidelines for the management of CHS. Most of the evidence on effective treatment and management comes from published case reports.

As people with CHS often only consult their doctors during the hyperemesis stage, there is a lack of knowledge regarding the treatment of people during the prodromal stage.

First, doctors treating people with CHS advise them to stop using marijuana. During the hyperemesis stage, doctors focus on preventing dehydration and stopping the symptoms of nausea and vomiting.

Doctors can provide hydration in the form of intravenous (IV) solutions if the person cannot tolerate oral fluids.

Some people with CHS require pain relievers if abdominal pain is present.

To stop symptoms of nausea and vomiting, some doctors may recommend the following:

  • vitamin B-6
  • ondansetron (Zofran)
  • promethazine (Phenergan)
  • metoclopramide (Reglan)
  • dexamethasone (Decadron)
  • famotidine (Pepcid)
  • droperidol (Inapsine)

However, many experts consider these treatments to be ineffective for managing nausea and vomiting in people with CHS.


In two case reports, doctors used lorazepam (Ativan) to manage CHS-related nausea and vomiting.

One doctor reported using injectable lorazepam to help control nausea and vomiting symptoms in an adult. Within 10 minutes, nausea and vomiting stopped, and the person no longer felt abdominal pain.

Another doctor reported using a combination of injectable lorazepam and promethazine, another antinausea medication.

Results from these case studies suggest that lorazepam might be an effective drug to control symptoms during the hyperemesis stage.

However, doctors exercise caution when prescribing lorazepam because it is a controlled substance with the potential for abuse and addiction. The use of lorazepam for CHS is also off-label, so a person’s doctor would need to make them aware of this fact.

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