How can I manage the drowsiness from motion sickness medication?
August 13, 2018 8:41 PM   Subscribe

Assume that I am going to take motion sickness medication. Assume that this medication makes me drowsy. How can I limit or manage this drowsiness?

I am going on holiday to Hawaii with my husband and kids soon, and will need to take motion sickness medication on at least 4 of the the 7 days of our travel.

I take either Gravol (Dramamine I think?) or Bonine which both combat the motion sickness very well. But they both make me very drowsy. Gravol makes me drowsy sooner and Bonine later but both will hit me with bouts of very intense drowsiness.

I have tried all of the various other options for motion sickness and none of them work as well as the medication.

What can I do to best manage the drowsiness? I think that I know the general types of suggestions like sleep well / eat well / exercise / limit alcohol etc. but I am looking for specific things to do when the drowsiness hits.

Nap? (I don't want to sleep away my holiday and a nap is not always practical, but if this is the best way to get past the drowsiness let me know I guess)

Run? (Can I burn if off somehow?)

Jump in the ocean? (Shock it out?)

Drink tons and tons of water? (Flush it out?)

Eat something special? (Magic fruit? Lots of protein? No protein? etc.)

Something else?

I also know to try to plan when I take the medication to get drowsy at night if I can, but that is not always an option. Please tell me what has worked for you!
posted by heybearica to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
For me, I take the smallest dose possible at a time, then take more later if I feel like it's starting to wear off. I buy the chewable tablets so I can bite off about 1/4-1/3 of a pill. It's harder to split the non-chewables. I avoid alcohol within about 7 hours on either side of the pill. And sometimes I just have to take a 20 min nap or I can't function. (Usually within the first hour or two afterwards.) But that combination, and otherwise staying active, helps me.
posted by loulou718 at 9:23 PM on August 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

Caffeine helps.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 9:31 PM on August 13, 2018

I've used caffeine gum, if that's available in your area. It hits me relatively quickly and, when combined with more general "amping up" tactics (fight or flight type stuff), is sufficient for me as long as I don't get too lax (gotta stay on top of the sleepiness).
posted by aramaic at 9:34 PM on August 13, 2018

I get that delayed glurge with Bonine too (it's still better than what diphenhydramine does to me) and I just try to plan taking the pill so that I can get to a big coffee about 2.5-3 hours later. That, and if I keep moving after the coffee (like, ideally staying on my feet for the next hour or so if possible), it seems to pass without serious consequences.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:50 PM on August 13, 2018

My question would be how alert do you have to be? If you have to drive or such then find non drowsy medication. If you’re just yawning a lot in conversation do what has been suggested.
posted by koahiatamadl at 1:01 AM on August 14, 2018

Ok, I guess I'm going to work with caffeine and planning. The drowsiness I experience is pretty intense and the non drowsy medication still makes me drowsy. I'll try the amping up too. Worst case scenario is nap time!
posted by heybearica at 5:02 PM on August 14, 2018

Dramamine is supposed to work 24 hour (or 12?) in advance - so you can take it the night before, sleep through the worst of it, and still be protected in the morning.

Like the advice above, I only ever take 1/2 a pill (for similar drowsiness reasons) and find that it works well.
posted by raspberrE at 7:55 PM on August 14, 2018

If you can get away with only one Bonine per day, you can take it before bed. I've done this and it works much better than taking it in the morning with regards to drowsiness.
posted by blurker at 9:34 AM on August 15, 2018

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