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What over-the-counter medications can prevent motion sickness?

The active ingredients in most over-the-counter medications used for the prevention of motion sickness are antihistamines.

Antihistamines are effective for the treatment of motion sickness because they lessen the effects of real or perceived movement on the inner ear. To effectively prevent motion sickness, most experts recommend taking motion sickness medication that contains an antihistamine approximately one hour before travel or exposure to your triggers. Common antihistamines include cyclizine, diphenhydramine, dimenhydrinate and meclizine.

Side effects of antihistamines may include drowsiness, dry mouth, blurred vision, headache, congestion and confusion. You should not take an antihistamine if you have heart disease, asthma, glaucoma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, difficulty urinating due to an enlarged prostate or are pregnant or breast feeding. You should avoid alcohol, tranquilizers and other sedatives while taking an antihistamine.

Although many antihistamines are available over-the-counter, stronger preparations may be available by prescription.

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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.