Perfect Remedy for Travel Sickness: what Other Medication Options Are There?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people didn’t get to travel as much as they wanted to. This has made the summer busy at popular vacation spots, hotels, and airports. Since vaccines were made available to everyone this spring, many airlines have said that demand has gone up, and this is likely to continue.

Most of us seem to be thinking about travelling. People who get motion sickness, which is almost everyone at some point, may also think of that.

Natascha Tuznik, an infectious disease doctor at the UC Davis Health Traveler’s Clinic, said, “A 2019 study found that almost everyone has had or will have motion sickness at some point in their lives.”

Where is Motion Sickness Most Likely to Happen?

This depends on the specific circumstances. Most people get sick from being on a boat. Interesting fact: the word “nausea” comes from the Greek word “naus,” which means “ship.” Nausea comes from the Greek word for “seasickness.” But it can also happen to people who drive, take the bus, or fly.

In a survey of about 3,200 bus riders, 28% said they felt sick, 13% said they were sick, and 2% said they threw up. In another study, it was found that 24% of commercial airline passengers felt sick or nauseous because of motion sickness.

Who’s Most Likely to Get Motion Sickness?

Men are less likely to be hurt than women. Most kids under the age of 2 don’t get car sick, while kids around the age of 9 are more likely to get sick. Motion sickness can also be caused by a history of migraines, changes in hormones (like when a woman is pregnant), genetics, and even the way a person thinks. People who think they will get sick are often the ones who do.


Does Dramamine Work for Motion Sickness?

Dramamine (dimenhydrinate) is a common remedy that many people use. It helps a little bit with motion sickness, but it is an antihistamine. Like other antihistamines, it may make you feel sleepy, dizzy, and less mentally alert. Some people may have the opposite effects, like trouble sleeping, getting too excited, or not being able to sit still. There isn’t much that can be done to lessen the side effects, though. If you’ve taken it before, the side effects should be the same every time.

Who should not take Dramamine?

Natascha Tuznik is a doctor who works with infectious diseases at the Traveler’s Clinic at UC Davis Health.

Patients who have had glaucoma, liver disease, asthma, seizures, enlarged prostates or urinary blockages, thyroid problems, or heart disease in the past should be careful and talk to their doctor first.

Perfect Remedy for Travel Sickness

Does It Help to Take the Medicine Before You Start Traveling?

If you get sick easily when travelling, it’s best to take medicine an hour before your trip.

What Other Medication Options Are There?

Another choice is Bonine (meclizine). Bonine says that its formulas are “less sleepy” than those of Dramamine. This is mostly because Bonine is taken once a day and Dramamine is taken every four to six hours as needed. Still, many studies show that Dramamine is better at preventing motion sickness as a whole, even though it is harder to use because you have to take it more often.

Scopolamine is another choice. It is often given in the form of a round patch that is put behind the ear.

Antihistamines that don’t make you sleepy, like Zyrtec, Claritin, and Allegra, don’t seem to help with motion sickness.

What about kids with Motion Sickness?

As was said, most kids under 2 don’t get car sick, and the number of kids who do seems to peak at age 9. Most of the time, the same advice works for kids as it does for adults. If you need to give your child medicine, you should always talk to your child’s doctor first. Almost all medicines for kids are based on their weight, and some may also have age limits. Please never guess a dose for your child without first talking to a doctor.

What About Pets With Motion Sickness?

Fortunately, pets can take preventative measures against motion sickness. Cerenia (maropitant), a medicine for canine motion sickness, is accessible via veterinary prescription only. The dosage of Dramamine for adults is also determined by body weight, just as it is for children. Get your pet’s vet’s opinion first.

Are There Ways to Prevent Motion Sickness?

Yes. Prevention is always the best option, when possible. Some options include:

  • Use your environment: Try looking at the horizon, if you’re at sea, or at another stationary object or fixture.
  • Avoid reading.
  • Where you sit matters. If you’re on a boat, avoid the upper levels. If you’re in a car, try to sit in the front. If you’re on a plane, look for a seat over the front edge of the wing.
  • Alternative methods like hard ginger candy, P6 acupressure and motion sickness & travel wristbands (one brand is Sea-Bands) can work well.

If you’ve ever experienced minor motion sickness (which usually doesn’t get in the way of your daily life), the aforementioned environmental adjustments and complementary and alternative treatments are what you should try. Medication is rarely suggested because the risks almost always outweigh the benefits.

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