What Is the Treatment for Brown Vomit?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 February 2019
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In the vast majority of cases, brown vomit should be treated like any other form of vomiting. This may include avoiding foods which may irritate the stomach as well as taking an anti-vomiting medication. Drinking plenty of fluids in order to stay hydrated is also very important, especially if diarrhea is also present. Occasionally, brown vomit may be caused by a specific health condition. Treatment will depend on the exact issue causing the symptoms, and other signs or symptoms may also be present.

Most cases of brown vomit are caused by eating and then regurgitating brown-colored foods or drinks. Soft drinks, coffee, chocolate, and other substances can all affect the appearance of vomit. In these cases, vomiting is probably caused by either eating too much or by a bacterial infection in the intestines. Usually, resting, drinking plenty of water, and sometimes taking an anti-vomiting or anti-nausea medication is all that is needed. The majority of vomiting cases will run their course without the use of medication within a few days, or often sooner.


Occasionally, digestive bile can also cause brownish vomit if it is regurgitated along with the regular vomit. Bile may be released as vomit in those with a digestive obstruction or who have consumed large amounts of alcohol. It is also possible to throw up bile if one has vomited so much that there is no food remaining in the stomach. Brown-colored bile is relatively uncommon, as yellow is the normal color of stomach bile. Patients may be able to tell if the vomit coming up is actually bile by the increased sour taste of it.

Although most cases are harmless, there are some cases of brown vomit which can be more serious. Bowel obstructions, severe infections, tumors, ulcers and other conditions can all lead to brown vomit. This is sometimes due to blood in the digestive tract, although blood may also appear bright red in color. Some conditions are also typically related to severe abdominal pain. The location and severity of pain will depend on the exact condition and how progressed it is.

Anyone who is experiencing severe vomiting, especially that which seems unusual in color or consistency, should speak with a medical professional. Although it is a likely that the condition causing these symptoms is nothing to worry about, there are some serious health problems which can be quite severe or even fatal if not taken care of immediately. Especially worrisome symptoms which may accompany vomiting can include vomit that looks like coffee grounds, pain radiating from the belly button over to the right lower portion of the stomach, blood in the vomit or stools, severe diarrhea, and intense abdominal pain.


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