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Vasovagal Reaction

Clinical Overview

Reviewed by Brian R. Robinson, MD

Vasovagal reaction is the medical term for simple fainting. Vasovagal reaction can be caused by any condition that restricts blood flow to the brain. It is marked by sudden pallor, loss of consciousness, and perhaps involuntary twitching. Fainting is rarely preceded by pain; it usually follows weakness, nausea, or dizziness. It can be caused by the following:

• Low blood pressure
• Hyperventilation
• Standing rigidly for an extended period of time
• Standing up too quickly
• Pressure on neck
• Strenuous bowel movement or coughing episode
• Effects of drugs or alcohol on the body

Last updated: Jan-01-00

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