Help me with motion sickness!
August 16, 2014 5:26 AM   Subscribe

I always get motion sickness on boats, and if the weather is bad enough, on airplanes. I love to travel, so this is a real bummer. I've tried both Dramamene and the behind-the-ear patches, and neither really helps. What can I do to really deal with the motion sickness without being a sleep-addled zombie?

So really, I have two questions:

First, the actual question above. Should I talk to my doctor and request some combination of medications? Is there some over-the-counter remedy I can try? Do those wristbands that work via acupressure actually work? What do you do to handle your motion sickness?

Second, is it possible to actually get _over_ motion sickness? If it's due to an inner-ear imbalance I suppose not, but I figured it'd be worth asking about. I have a job and a life, so I can't really take six months to go work on a fishing boat so I can just get over it. And I'm not too keen into surgery, if that's even an option.
posted by gchucky to Health & Fitness (19 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You have a few choices.

Sea Bands use pressure points in your wrists. I found them very helpful.

Bonine is different from Dramamine, it uses Meclizine which doesn't make you drowsy. Also it's chewable, if you need it to be.

Ginger. On cruise ships its available in bowls as you enter and exit the dining room. You can get Ginger beer, ginger candies and candied ginger.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:36 AM on August 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

Yes those wristbands aren't BS and do help some people, and they are cheap and not going to hurt you. There's also this thing that can be implanted under the skin near your wrist, and I believe it lasts for a number of weeks. I'm thinking about doing one for my honeymoon.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 5:37 AM on August 16, 2014

Seconding the recommendation for ginger. When the TV show Mythbusters tested ginger, they found it worked even better than drugs.
posted by akk2014 at 5:58 AM on August 16, 2014 [3 favorites]

I get motion sick REALLY EASILY and I swear by meclizine (aka Bonine). I've tried Bonine brand and Rugby brand and I think Rugby actually works even better, though I'll use either one. It's available on Amazon.
posted by brilliantine at 6:26 AM on August 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

Phenergan and ginger is what helps me. If you have an Asian type market nearby, you can get a pouch of crystalized ginger pretty cheaply (2 bucks for a couple ounces, but that's a lot of pieces). You probably can find ginger tea there too. I haven't looked because I have a couple boxes I brought back from Korea (I just like the taste).
posted by kathrynm at 8:03 AM on August 16, 2014

Look at the horizon when you feel queasy.
posted by mai at 8:14 AM on August 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I get seasick on wet grass, and once actually got seasick on a "waveless" water bed. I swear by ginger and will take ginger ale with real ginger or candied ginger with me on most longer trips. Seasick tablets sort of sometimes work for me but my saviour is Zzzquil or the like. I'm not seasick if I'm asleep. Strangely I don't know if it works for anyone else but gassy drinks that get me burping a lot help, I think it's more the psycological relief of releasing pressure from my stomach without hurling.
posted by wwax at 8:42 AM on August 16, 2014

posted by katrielalex at 8:56 AM on August 16, 2014

Drink. No, seriously. I'm not saying you need to get hammered, but have a beer or whisky or two.

My boyfriend and I both get totally seasick but also really like to sail and travel. When he was in Australia, looking green and dying, the sailors recommended a few beers on the return trip and we've never looked back. Even when we were the only people having beers on the 7 a.m. ferry from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen.

I know it sounds just like an excuse, but I have found drinking to have the best effectiveness to side effects ratio.
posted by dame at 9:40 AM on August 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

An interesting ancedote: my hubby used to not get seasick as a kid but had pretty bad seasickness as an adult, until, for unrelated reasons he started taking a stomach acid reducer such as prilosec. Reduction in stomach acid seemed to result in no more seasickness since he was not even queasy afterwards. So that's something to consider.
posted by mightshould at 10:15 AM on August 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

The wrist bands never worked for me. Dramamine does.

One thing I've discovered about my motion sickness is that part of it isn't motion sickness at all -- it's anxiety about getting carsick. Anxiety causes nausea for me anyway, so as soon as I get it in my head that I'm maybe going to start feeling queasy, I feel queasy. This starts a vicious cycle, and a lot of what ends up happening is that I start to go through the "what ifs." "What if I puke? That would be embarrassing. What if I have to pull over on the side of the road? What if, what if, what if." When I get to that point, if I wasn't nauseous before, I am now.

It sounds woo-y, but doing a couple minutes of mindful breathing usually tends to calm that anxiety for me.

Not saying this is true for everyone, but it's something to ask yourself.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:33 PM on August 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

Prevention is more effective than treatment when it comes to motion sickness, so whatever you use, you should take it 30 minutes to an hour before you travel. If you wait until you already feel sick, the meds are less effective. Meclizine (Bonine or Dramamine Less Drowsy Formula are the brand names) is less likely to cause drowsiness than dimenhydrinate (regular Dramamine), but drowsiness is a side effect of just about anything available for treating motion sickness.
posted by curie at 12:46 PM on August 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

My family has found the wrist bands helpful and also ginger.

We also found that improving general health has had the side effect of reducing these kinds of problems. But that isn't some kind of straight forward, simply fix of do x to get y result if you have this problem.
posted by Michele in California at 1:46 PM on August 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yes, ginger has worked very well for me, as well.
posted by SpacemanStix at 1:52 PM on August 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Sea bands ( one on each wrist ) and ginger works for me. Put on the sea bands before getting on the boat, keep them on throughout the voyage. Take them off only at end of voyage.

During voyage, make sure to look outside often, to see the horizon. If you are on a cruise ship, get a room with windows to the outside, not an inner room.
posted by seawallrunner at 2:56 AM on August 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, all. I'm going to pick up a pair of Sea-bands (can't hurt, they're like $5), and get a bunch of ginger pills and Bonine.
posted by gchucky at 5:37 AM on August 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

My daughter and I both get very seasick, and I had tried Bonine without success. Then a friend told me that you had to take it well ahead of time, so we started taking it the day before a cruise, and took it every morning for the duration. Also used the bands, and ginger gum (which is delicious and can be found in drug stores with the other motion sickness remedies), and neither of us had any issues during the cruise.
posted by Bresciabouvier at 11:47 AM on August 17, 2014

Also, in terms of actually getting over motion sickness, I ran into stories of people who had luck with self hypnosis tapes when I was researching. We never had the chance to try it, but you might look into that if you want to give it a try for a longer term solution.
posted by Bresciabouvier at 11:49 AM on August 17, 2014

Two of my family members regularly get sea sick, but they both took meclizine the night before going ocean fishing recently, and neither got sick or sleepy.
posted by Safiya at 8:38 AM on August 18, 2014

« Older Blood Type - What Blood Group am I in.   |   A good place to stop for lunch between Minneapolis... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.