Munson Health
Motion Sickness

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by Alan R

(Air Sickness; Car Sickness; Sea Sickness)



Strategies to prevent motion sickness include:


Medication that prevent motion sickness should be taken as directed before you begin a trip or ride. These medicines can cause side effects, such as drowsiness, lack of alertness, or trouble concentrating.
Medications include:
  • Over-the-counter antihistamines
  • Prescription scopolamine
  • Prochlorperazine, promethazine, or chlorpromazine

Repeated Exposure

Repeated exposure to the motion that causes the sickness can decrease your symptoms. This treatment can take time and may be unpleasant.

Lifestyle Changes

There are steps that you can take to be more prepared:
Before you go:
  • Avoid heavy meals or spicy foods
  • Avoid excess alcohol
  • Get plenty of sleep
For cars:
  • Try to sit in the front seat or volunteer to drive
  • Don't reading while in motion
  • Eat small, frequent meals or snacks
  • Avoid excess alcohol
  • Don't look at moving objects
  • Ask the driver to slow down or stop if you start to feel sick
For planes, trains, or boats:
  • Get a window seat and look outside
  • Sit over the wing on a plane
  • Sit in the middle of a boat and try to get some fresh air
Try to avoid amusement parks, virtual reality rides, and movies that may lead to motion sickness.

RESOURCES - American Academy of Family Physicians - American Academy of Pediatrics



Canadian Family Physician

Health Canada



Dizziness and motion sickness. American Academy of Otolaryngology website. Available at: Updated December 2010. Accessed April 25, 2013.

Motion sickness. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: Updated July 1, 2011. Accessed April 25, 2013.

Murdin L, Golding J, Bronstein A. Managing motion sickness. BMJ. 2011;343:d7430.

Nausea and vomiting in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated March 18, 2013. Accessed April 25, 2013.


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