Whether traveling for pleasure or business, expressing safe and healthy travel habits can make all the difference in the outcome of your trip. Many people experience that sense of nausea and motion sickness, be it on a boat, plane or car. Dramamine is one of a few brand-name pills for the drug dimenhydrinate. Before taking Dramamine or any other medication, it’s a good idea to know the benefits – as well as the risks – associated with it.
1. Benefit: Relief from the Effects of Motion Sickness
Dramamine is an over-the-counter drug used to tame the unpleasant effects that come hand-in-hand with motion sickness, such as dizziness, nausea, vertigo and vomiting. Because it isn’t likely to upset your stomach, Dramamine can be taken with or without food. Simply take the proper dosage thirty minutes before traveling, and you’re good to go.
2. Benefit: Different Forms
Dramamine comes in different forms to accommodate different preferences for taking medication. This includes:
- Standard pills
- Chewable tablets
3. Benefit: Multi-Uses
Although Dramamine is primarily marketed and used as an anti-motion sickness drug, doctors can and do recommend it for other uses. Dramamine can be given during pregnancy to help stave off serious bouts of nausea and morning sickness, although it shouldn’t be given to mothers who are breast-feeding. Dramamine can also be given to prevent or reduce post-operative vomiting. Some veterinarians will also prescribe Dramamine as a sedative for cats and dogs. These uses, of course, should always be talked over with your doctor beforehand.
4. Risk: Side-Effects
Dramamine is known for making its users a bit groggy. For this reason, warnings on the box and from your doctor state you should avoid using it if you plan on driving or operating other heavy machinery. Drowsiness can be made worse depending on if you’re taking any other kind of medication at the same time. Other side-effects include dryness of the mouth, nose and throat, as well as thickening of mucus. To avoid or decrease your chances of drowsiness, try sticking to a non-drowsy formula.
More serious side-effects can occur, although are rare, and these include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Hives or rash
- Irregular heartbeat
- Increased heartbeat
- Fever and/or chills
- Sore throat
- Tightness in the chest
If these symptoms occur, it’s important to seek medical attention right away.
5. Risk: Interactions with Other Drugs, Alcohol and Heat
If you’re on dietary supplements, prescription medications or herbs, it never hurts to double-check with your doctor about what side-effects might crop up when you start taking Dramamine. Dramamine will increase the effects of depressants, like alcohol, so it’s not a good idea to mix the two.
6. Risk: Overdose
Overdose is a very real concern, and thus it’s very important Dramamine is taken only as instructed. Never double-up on doses. People on overly high doses of Dramamine report having very vivid, often terrifying hallucinations, as well as temporary amnesia and disorientation. Serious overdosage can lead to heart attacks, coma or even death. Take your medication only as directed, and this shouldn’t at all be a problem. If you’re concerned about your own reaction to Dramamine, try taking a half-dose a few days prior to your traveling plans, just to see how your body handles it.
Overall, Dramamine is like many other medications – it has both benefits and risks. As long as you take the medication properly and you know the trouble signs to look out for, Dramamine can be a great help when you’re traveling to prevent motion sickness.