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Health Tips / Motion sickness

Diagnosis and Symptoms

The exact cause of motion sickness is not fully understood but is thought to occur due a conflict in the messages transmitted to the brain from structures in the ear which sense orientation and balance and those from the sensory system. This is brought about because the passive traveller experiences conflicting signals regarding movement.

Nausea and vomiting are the main symptoms but paleness, sweating, increased salivation, yawning, and hyperventilation may also occur.

Preventative measures

On long journeys take regular breaks, if possible. Try to sit in a comfortable position, preferably, not crouched or cramped.
Ensure that you have good ventilation, fresh air if possible, and eat only light meals and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. This is particularly important when flying. Do not drink alcohol. Try to sit near a window with a view.

Non-prescription treatments

Hyoscine (KWELLS„JUNIOR KWELLS ) is probably the most effective drug for the prevention of motion sickness. The exact dose depends on age. These medicines should be taken 20-30 minutes before travelling but are still effective if taken at the onset of nausea or after travelling.  Side effects such as drowsiness, dry mouth or even blurred vision, can occur. These effects are usually not severe, at the recommended dose are more frequent than with the antihistamine treatments. These medicines must not be taken by persons suffering from glaucoma.

A range of antihistamine medicines are available to prevent motion sickness. Cinnarizine (STUGERON) tablets are commonly recommended. 

Alternative Therapies
Ginger has traditionally been used to alleviate the symptoms of motion sickness.

Wrist straps which apply pressure to acupressure points on the wrists have been used to alleviate the symptoms of motion sickness. The straps must be worn simultaneously on both wrists with the pressure point applied to a specific area of the wrist.

Further information on the medicines listed above including dosages and contra-indications are available at

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Last update: 16/05/2013 12:38 • Previous update: 30/11/-0001 00:00