Vomiting and Diarrhea In Older Children and Adults

Although many things can cause vomiting and diarrhea, the reason is usually not serious and the condition usually gets better quickly.

If you continue having vomiting and diarrhea for more than a few days, you should be checked for dehydration. This is very important, especially in the very young and the elderly.


  • It is best to try to drin even if you are vomiting. Use ice chips or very small amounts (spoonfuls) of fluids every 10-15 minutes.
  • Once the vomiting slows down, you may try clear fluids like soft drinks (without caffeine), soup and diluted juices. Clear fluids are drinks that you can see through.
  • Try to return to a normal diet as you are getting better. It is not necessary to stop milk or dairy products. Foods high in starch, like noodles, bread, rice and potatoes, may be helpful.
  • When you are just having diarrhea, you do not have to change your regular diet, but do continue to eat.


Gravol suppositories and Kaopectate are quite safe in adults and may improve the condition.

If you continue to vomit and have diarrhea for longer than a few days, the doctor may prescribe medications.

See a Doctor If …

  • there is no improvement after 2 days
  • there is blood in the vomit or diarrhea
  • abdominal pain develops that is constant and not cramping
  • there are signs of dehydration (such as no tears or moisture in the mouth, or no urination for 8 hours)
  • the person appears sicker.

Wash your hands with soap and water to prevent spreading the illness to others.