Nervous system disorders

Motion sickness

(Airsickness)

  • Also known as
  • Carsickness

About Motion sickness

Motion sickness is a common problem in people traveling by car, train, airplanes and especially boats. Motion sickness can start suddenly, with a queasy feeling and cold sweats. It can then lead to dizziness and nausea and vomiting.

Your brain senses movement by getting signals from your inner ears, eyes, muscles and joints. When it gets signals that do not match, you can get motion sickness. For example, down below on a boat, your inner ear senses motion, but your eyes cannot tell you are moving.

Where you sit can make a difference. The front seat of a car, forward cars of a train, upper deck on a boat or wing seats in a plane may give you a smoother ride. Looking out into the distance - instead of trying to read or look at something in the vehicle - can also help.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Top Medications for Motion sickness according to our users

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All Medications for Motion sickness

  • Benadryl
    (diphenhydramine)
    Prescription or OTC

    Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is great for allergies, but curl up on the couch after taking it and get ready for a nap.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Oral solution
    • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Phenergan
    (promethazine)
    Prescription only

    Phenergan (Promethazine) is used to treat and prevent nausea and vomiting from surgery, motion sickness, or pregnancy. While it's cheap and available in different forms to make it easier to take, it can make you feel very sleepy, and its side effects mean that children under 2 and adults over 65 shouldn't take it.

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    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Liquid
    • Suppository
  • Scopolamine
    Prescription only

    Transderm-Scop (Scopolamine) works well to prevent nausea and vomiting and the patch is low-hassle, but it takes about 4 hours to kick in.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Patch
  • Unisom SleepGels
    (diphenhydramine)
    Over-the-counter

    Unisom Sleepgels (Diphenhydramine) is a good over-the-counter medication for nighttime allergies.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Chewable tablet
    • Liquid

Tips, success stories, and coping strategies for Motion sickness

What tip would you give someone like me who was just diagnosed?
  • Keep Ginger supply always. Tea, dried Ginger very helpful.
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Besides medications, what else has worked for you?

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