How should I choose a medication for motion sickness?

A number of over-the-counter and prescription medications are used to help prevent motion sickness. For maximum efficacy, follow your doctor's or the label's instructions. Most medications should be taken approximately one hour before travel or exposure to triggers. Medications may be less effective if you're already experiencing symptoms of nausea and vomiting. Your choice of medication will depend on a variety of factors, such as:

  • your medical history, including any conditions or medication allergies you may have
  • your natural susceptibility to motion sickness
  • the length of your trip or the amount of time you'll be exposed to your specific trigger
  • the severity of the actual or perceived motion
  • your ability to tolerate the side effects of certain motion sickness medications
  • your need to (or not) maintain alertness (many of the medications used to treat motion sickness are sedating)
  • the desired route of administration (medications for motion sickness are available in tablet, oral liquid, patch, injection, and rectal suppository preparations)

The effectiveness of motion sickness medications is highly variable. No two people will respond to the same medication in exactly the same way, nor will one medication effectively manage your symptoms all of the time, under different kinds of circumstances. See your healthcare provider if you need help choosing a motion sickness medication that's right for you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.