The following couple of paragraphs are basically about DImenhydrinate (Dramamine) or Meclizine. They are the only things I recommend for normal seasickness curing and prevention. I would not use any other drugs, unless these two fail to work. See the table of Trade Names.
Contrary to the literature in boating magazines, some prepared by doctors, or the literature included with the medications, it takes 2 hours for these things to reach maximum effectiveness. This means that if you are getting sick and you did not take the stuff 2 hours before, it is liable not to work. Most of us, me included do not like taking medications, unless really needed. Consequently, most people don't take the medications 2 hours before, but only 20 minutes to an hour ahead of rough water. The medication fails to work and the victim is convinced that medications don't work. Mikes Opinionated Opinions.
One more thing about medications. There is an illusion that all of these drugs will make you drowsy. It may be true that one or another will make any one individual drowsy. The solution is to try the various ones till you find one that doesn't. Now get this. It is my experienced opinion that most of these drugs do not make anyone drowsy. It is an illusion. You start to get sick, you take the drug, it doesn't work (not enough time), you get drowsy from the effects of being seasick. Don't blame it on the drug.
Now here comes the punch line. The prevention of seasickness is mostly a matter of medication. The method of introduction into the bloodstream is the tricky part. Scopolamine patches work by direct introduction into the blood vessels behind the ear. With Dimenhydrinate or Meclizine (chewables), effects are immediate (less than 3 minutes). Medications taken by mouth may be held up in the stomach and never reach the digestive tract (to be absorbed into the blood), if one is already a little seasick. It may be that many victims have the pyloric valve already closed, and are a "little" seasick before they ever step aboard.
Dramamine is available in a chewable tablet, so is meclizine (both are over-the-counter drugs.) Dramamine has been tested on children as young as 2. I have used on both of these on children. The trick to using these things, is not to swallow the drug, but let it dissolve in the mouth. Be warned, meclizine chewable is hard1 on the lining of the mouth. It should be chewed up very fine and not allowed to stay long, in any one place. Swallowing some of this is ok. Frankly I have taken to not even chewing it, just suck on it until it dissolves. Chewable Dramamine is not as hard on the lining and I prefer it for children, but it is more expensive.
The chewed tablet will absorb best in the cheek, but you can hold it under the tongue.
For a story of a recent cure for one of my very sick crew
Warnings about Stugeron
Details about Dosages to Use
In general follow the directions included with the pills. With the exception of the suggestions I have given you here in this material, also see detailed dosages and notes.
The effects of these chewable drugs is almost instantaneous (30 seconds?), and improves with time. In the case of adults who are already sick, it may take 1 1/2 Dramamine tablets to get them stabilized (a little over-dosing is generally ok, if not continued.) Meclizine chewable is now my favored medication for almost everyone. The 25mg tablets are very effective, children included(1/2 tablet) and generally last many hours longer than Dramamine. Rarely do we have to do this more than once more unless rough water comes along.
By the way, I claim no experience with "motion sickness" per se. General motion sickness is very much the same as "seasicknes", but there may well be differences. And the only thing I have experiemented with is seasickness. So, keep that in mind.
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1 "Hard on the lining", means the material tends to make the lining of the mouth sore. Even to the point of causing sores which heal over in a couple of days.
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