View Full Version : sea sick meds????

02-04-2005, 09:52 AM
Do over the counter meds work as well as prescription meds for sea sickness? I am the kind that can't ride a rollercoaster and oh for bid a merry-go-round :scared1:
I have read some reports that the seas are a little rough this time of year--we are on the wonder feb 13 and I really dont want to be green the whole time.


02-04-2005, 10:00 AM
We leave at the end of the month and the condition of the seas are a concern for me as well - simply because I know I am going to have a problem even if the seas are not rough (can't do merry-go-rounds either!).

For me any over the counter meds - even the non-drowsy kind - knock me out or give me a real "buzz". Since I do not want to be like this the whole time I am going to my doctor and asking about my other options.

I know people have had a patch and other things - but I would like to hear it from a doctor as to what has no side effects at all.

Good luck

02-04-2005, 10:10 AM
The OTC drugs do nothing for me and like the previous poster even the non-drowsy ones make me slightly drowsy. I don't there is a drug out there without some kind of side effects. I do use the "patch" whenever we travel and have very minor side effects like a slightly dry mouth the first day. That's about it and it saves me from getting sick every day. I can say that the cruise we had 20 foot swells the patch didn't help that much though~I had to stay close to our bathroom!

02-04-2005, 12:41 PM
Motion Sickness Information - Everything and more you wanted to know about remedies

This information was posted by Hydster 9/20/2004. It is the most complete information that I have seen (and I agree with all of it - especially the part about trying the meds out at home BEFORE you leave on your trip)

So I revised my motion sickness stuff and added a few tips given from WVMD (it was his idea and a darn good one at that)and so now here is the new REVISED motion sickness information.

Sea Bands and Relief Bands

Sea bands are a terry cloth type band that you wear on your wrist. It has a white knob that if positioned correctly CAN put pressure on the wrist pressure point. Here is a website with a picture of a Sea Band


These bands are very cheap but beware that since they rely on hitting a specific spot in your wrist it is possible that they will not work very well. They did not work well on me or my husband as our pressure point is too deep. The spot it is supposed to sit on is called the NeiGuan Pressure Point (P6) if you want to research that pressure point.

The Relief Band is a sort of watch looking contraption that actually shocks your wrist with a shocking impulse that is supposed to help with motion sickness as well. It is quite pricey and in the same sort of category as the Sea Bands where if they work I hear they work great but if they donít work well you hopefully have another method with you. Here is a website with what these are:


We found them at a local store for about 70 dollars but ended up returning them as they didnít work for either of us.

These two options are nice if you donít want to take any medication but please beware that there is a chance that they will not work and make sure you have a backup method.

The Transderm Scop patch is a patch that contains scopolamine and you put it on behind your ear and wear it continually for 3 days at a time. Can have irritating side effects but, most people complain of a dry mouth. Wear the patch for a day or two prior to going on the cruise to see if you can tolerate it. It is a prescription only medication. Drug clears rapidly from the system - hence the need to wear the patch - so side effects should be resolved in 4-6 hours after removing the patch. You MUST be diligent about washing your hands after they come in contact with the patch and if you accidentally touch it and touch your eye(s) they can dilate your pupils and give you symptoms much worse than seasickness alone! These patches work well for some but have a higher rate of allergic reactions than other forms according to my pharmacist (take that for what it's worth). Their website is http://www.transdermscop.com/site2/
I would suggest that you read the side effects in the patient information section. I didnít try this out at home before we left on our first cruise and I ended up in the cabin sick with a nasty headache, upset stomach, dizziness, dilated pupils and miserable. Turns out I am highly allergic to scopolamine and didnít know it! I would suggest if you plan on using this you try it out at home first to make sure that you are not allergic to it. I have also heard that there is a new scopolamine product called Scopace that gives the same benefit as the patch but with fewer side effects. Ask your doctor if you want to go this way if they think it is good for you and your body.

Then there are the over the counter drugs like Dramamine, Dramamine Less Drowsy, Bonine and the active form of Bonine and Dramamine Less Drowsy which is Meclizine.

Dramamine is a dimenhydrinate and it has the ability to make you really really sleepy! I'd suggest trying these methods out at home before you go as well to see how they react especially if they make your extremely tired and if you drink how you react with alcohol. Original Dramamine can be used in small children although not under the age of 2 but can make them extremely tired and agitated. Here is their website

Dramamine Less Drowsy and Bonine are actually Meclizine. You can generally buy Meclizine over the counter (although some pharmacy's keep it behind the counter) but without a prescription and the Meclizine is generally cheaper. We get 100 Meclizine tablets for 8.00 where we get 12 Bonine for 8.00 so the difference is a big deal to us! Meclizine, Bonine, Dramamine Less Drowsy are all antihistamines such as Benadryl. We usually start taking this medication 2-3 days before we leave and continue to take 1 pill every morning until we have been home for at least 2 days. Our pediatrician told us we could give a 1/2 of a 12.5 mg pill to our older kids and my dd needed it but my 2 boys did not. They didnít suffer from motion sickness at all but my 9 year old did suffer. I would also suggest trying this out at home before you go as well. Better to lose a weekend than a whole trip! Here is an online pharmacy (prices are outrageous) but it has some good information on Meclizine http://www.online-health-pharmacy.c...y_meclizine.php

Antivert - Prescription version of Meclizine - no difference in strength/ingredients - just price!

Claritin = Loratadine - Not as effective for most people - makes very few people drowsy

Any antihistamine has the potential to help with seasickness. Remember if you are already taking an antihistamine - start at the lower doses of meclizine - as there can be an additive effect

Alcohol can intensify the side effects of all of these medications!

There are also Ginger tablets or candy that you can take with you to help with nausea and generally you can buy them in any health food store. As with the relief bands since they are "natural" and not a drug it would be hard to try them out before you go so make sure you take a backup method as well. Also some people find that mint is helpful as well. I believe these are in the same kind of category where ginger and mint have a calming effect on the stomach. Another short term trick is to eat a green apple. Our servers told us this on one of our cruises and it did help when I was already feeling ill. It kept my stomach somewhat calm UNTIL the meds took effect.

As you can see there are many ways to combat seasickness but you need to make sure that you pick the right one for you!! I honestly canít say this enough but make sure you try whatever medication you can out at home before leaving on your trip so that you can deal with the side effects at home. A trip to the ships' doctor is quite costly and MOST insurance require that you pay for the treatment up front and then submit a claim to get reimbursed. I know my one trip to the ships doctor cost me over 200 dollars because I had to get an anti-nausea shot, diagnosis, more medication and I lost 3 days of my trip! Remember it is a lot easier to prevent sea sickness than it is to cure it.

02-04-2005, 01:07 PM
OTC drugs work about as well as anything...

The trick (and I suspect why a lot of people say they don't work) is that you have to take them early and consisently. They instructions say 1 hour before you board, forget that. If you are worried about being seasick, or you know you will be, you should take your first dose the night before you depart. From what I've found, it takes at LEAST 2 hours to kick in and longer still to hit peak effectiveness. So get your 24 hour bonine and take it the night before, then daily after that. I'm not saying this will work for everyone, but I think it will work for most people.

Another trick is to take along the chewables. If you begin to feel seasick, it's hard to get rid of it, so the best method is to take it well before you go (12 hours minimum). But if you forget, the chewables will hit your bloodstream much faster than the pills. If you're already sick, you might want to overdose a bit (take 1 chewable and than 1/2 a little later if you're still not quite good).

Another trick, though it might be hard out in the open sea, is to stay on deck and look at something. Land is good, but the horizon might do if there is nothing else out there. The whole sickness happens when your brain get's mixed signals about motion from your eyes and ears (your eyes see everything as stationary but your ears sense the swaying of the ship). Supposedly it helps to look out at something to send a strong and clear signal to the brain. Jumping off the ship is supposed to help too, but I wouldn't recommend that :)

02-04-2005, 01:46 PM
I was worried about getting sea sick since I get sick on rides and car sick in the mountains. I took Bonine the whole time, never felt woozy, couldn't tell I was taking it. I don't know if I would have gotten sick, but I wasn't taking any chances. Lots of medicines make me drowsy, but I couldn't tell I was even taking anything. One night was really rough and I slept like a baby, and the next day the more the ship rocked, the happier I was :goodvibes

02-04-2005, 02:58 PM
I know people have had a patch and other things - but I would like to hear it from a doctor as to what has no side effects at all.

I am not a doctor, but for most the patch will have side effects. Sea-Bands do not have any side effects and are otc wrist bands you wear. Give them a shot, about $8 at any drugstore. Good luck.

02-04-2005, 04:02 PM
Well, DW is a doctor, but she's an OB, so really not her specialty, (unless the seasickness is restricted to your ovaries). But from experience, the first cruise she got a little ooky, put on a pair of the wristbands, and felt better almost immediately.

02-04-2005, 09:40 PM
We found that the Dramamine Less Drowsy (the "magic yellow pills," as we call them) kicked in for us in about an hour. We didn't take it ahead of time on our first cruise because we didn't know what to expect, and we ended up losing three tablemates during late-seating dinner the first night - one during appetizer, one at main course and one at dessert (that was me). Thought we were down for the night. Then we took the pills...and next thing we knew, we were talking and laughing, and my daughter got up and went to the teen club and didn't return until after 2 a.m. Next cruise, we took the pills right before sailaway.

One more tip: If the seas are rough, don't watch the curtain in the Walt Disney Theatre sway back and forth before show time! Makes me sick just thinking about it. :sad2:

02-05-2005, 04:44 PM
I recommed the reliefbank watch like device. I worked perfectly for me. Since it is not a pill no side effects.


02-05-2005, 05:39 PM
Just like meds, the wristbands work for some & not for others. Best advice I can give you is your going to do meds TRY THEM BEFORE in case you dont react well with them...

Remember there are two stages of seasicks... Stage one you think your going to die.... Stage two your hoping you will.....

02-06-2005, 08:59 AM
i do not know if this is your first cruise or not. I get car sick, but on the boat it feels like you are still on land. The boat does not rock at all. :banana:

02-06-2005, 09:52 AM
Yes this is our first cruise. Thanks everyone for the input. I bought dramamine less drowsy and walmarts brand equate motion sickness tablets. I will try these before we leave. Told hubby I will take them and then he can drive me around while I try to read in the car. :rotfl: :rotfl: If that doesn't do the trick I will still have time to get to the doctor.

Thanks again...

02-06-2005, 12:33 PM
We've never gone on a cruise, however for other types of motion sickness we use ginger capsules. My DH and I (and our DD) get very sleepy from the bonine type tablets (non-drowsy Dramamine) for a full 24 hours. I mean, wipe out kind of sleepy. The ginger seems to help him with his ever-increasing motion sickness (he was able to go on Mission:Space 3 times during his last trip). It helps me if I'm feeling a little sick (I don't tend to get motion sickness).

Like has already been mentioned, try everything out at home and bring a variety of medicine with you.


02-06-2005, 02:41 PM
you guys are funny,my wife gets sick on cruises but I feel that I paid too much money too get sick. the more rocking the better for me. I know that people pay good money for that type of action. :rotfl: :banana: :rotfl:

02-21-2005, 12:23 PM
I just did what everyone suggested, and tried the patch before the cruise. Thank goodness I did! As Murphey's law would suggest, I had one of the very rare side effects... Eye pressure, redness and pain. I had to take it off. I'll use my trusty backup - Less Drowsy Drammamine. It hasn't failed me in anything else I do that causes motion sickness for me - backseat car rides, airplanes, trains, etc. Hopefully it'll work! It's my first cruise...

Tammy - New Hampshire :bounce:

02-21-2005, 01:05 PM
I just picked up the patch at my pharmacy. I really don't want to try it at home. It cost me $20 for four patches. I guess I will take my chances. The only reason I wanted the patch was for the first night. On our last cruise, the first night was terrible. The curtains were moving. At Parrot Cay we were sitting next to a window and the decorations were moving. I didn't think I would be able to eat. Around 9 PM the curtains stopped moving in the theatre, all was fine from that moment on.

My doctor didn't mention any side effects, guess I should have asked! :teeth:

02-21-2005, 04:11 PM
What cruise are you going on? Maybe we'll be on the same one... I can give you my extras. After cruising around this board, there is a lot of feedback on trying out any medication prior to going. I'm glad I did, because I would have been miserable on the boat.

Tammy :)

02-21-2005, 04:47 PM
I am starting to get very nervous about the seasickness thing. I am very prone to motion sickness. I don't do roller coasters, I get sick on curvy roads and I even get dizzy and nauseous watching my 4 year old spin in a circle, the way all 4 year olds like to do! :rotfl:

I've already bought some dramamine and plan to get some Bonine, Relief Bands, Ginger Snaps and Lemon Drops from the store, just in case.

My DH doesn't get seasick. He thinks seasickness is all in people's heads. (Mr. Sensitive sometimes, isn't he?) But I'm very prone to it and not sure how my DD will be. I plan to be prepared.

02-21-2005, 07:16 PM
ok so I didnt need any sea sick meds.... :rotfl: :rotfl: first night just needed to get my sea legs and then smooth sailing....now I know what a wavelet is (1.5 ft seas) I did feel the movement of the ship when we were turning things like that...our day at sea the pool was really sloshing about but I didn't feel a thing!!!!!! Now if I could just do that with roller coasters and merry-go-rounds oh well go figure :cheer2: :cheer2:


Disney Wonder Feb 13-17 2005