What is dimenhydrinate?

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Generic Name: Dimenhydrinate Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Know the basics

What is dimenhydrinate used for?

Dimenhydrinate is an antihistamine used to prevent and treat nausea, vomiting, and dizziness caused by motion sickness.

Do not use dimenhydrinate in children younger than two years unless directed by the doctor.

OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by yourhealth care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.

Dimenhydrinate is also used to treat nausea and dizziness caused by inner ear problems (such as Meniere’s disease).

How should I take dimenhydrinate?

Follow all directions on the product package. If your doctor has prescribed dimenhydrinate, take it as directed. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Take dimenhydrinate by mouth with or without food. Measure liquid forms of this medication using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. The chewable tablets should be chewed thoroughly before being swallowed.

The dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or take dimenhydrinate more often than directed.

To prevent motion sickness, take the first dose 30 to 60 minutes before starting activity such as travel.

Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.

How do I store dimenhydrinate?

Dimenhydrinate is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store dimenhydrinate in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of dimenhydrinate that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush dimenhydrinate down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using dimenhydrinate?

Before taking dimenhydrinate,

  • talk with your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to dimenhydrinate or any other medications. If you are taking dimenhydrinate chewable tablets, talk to your doctor if you are allergic to tartrazine (FD&C Yellow No. 5, a color additive) or aspirin.
  • talk with your doctor and pharmacist about what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: aminoglycoside antibiotics such as such as amikacin (Amikin), gentamicin (Garamycin), kanamycin (Kantrex), neomycin (Neo-Rx, Neo-Fradin), netilmicin (Netromycin), paromomycin (Humatin), streptomycin, and tobramycin (Tobi, Nebcin); antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil), amoxapine (Asendin), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Adapin, Sinequan), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil), and trimipramine (Surmontil); antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine; cough and cold medications; ipratropium (Atrovent); medications for anxiety, irritable bowel disease, mental illness, Parkinson’s disease, seizures, ulcers, or urinary problems; narcotic or strong pain relievers or muscle relaxants; sedatives; sleeping pills; and tranquilizers. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • talk with your doctor if you have or have ever had asthma; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, including chronic bronchitis (swelling of the air passages that lead to the lungs) or emphysema (damage to air sacs in the lungs); difficulty urinating due to enlargement of the prostate (male reproductive organ); glaucoma (an eye disease that can cause vision loss); or seizures.
  • talk with your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking dimenhydrinate, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking dimenhydrinate.
  • you should know that dimenhydrinate may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car, operate machinery, or participate in potentially dangerous activities until you know how this medication affects you.
  • avoid alcoholic beverages or products containing alcohol while taking dimenhydrinate. Alcohol can make the side effects from dimenhydrinate worse.
  • if you have phenylketonuria (PKU, an inherited condition in which a special diet must be followed to prevent mental retardation), read the package label carefully before taking dimenhydrinate. Dimenhydrinate chewable tablets contain aspartame that forms phenylalanine

Is it safe to take dimenhydrinate during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category B according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown.

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of dimenhydrinate?

Common side effects include:

Drowsiness, headache, blurred vision, tinnitus, dryness of the mouth and respiratory passages, incoordination, palpitation, dizziness, hypotension.

Paradoxical CNS stimulation in pediatric patients and occasionally in adults.

With intramuscular injection: Pain at the injection site.

Because dimenhydrinate contains diphenhydramine, the possibility of other diphenhydramine-related adverse effects should also be considered.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Know the interactions

What drugs may interact with dimenhydrinate?

Dimenhydrinate may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with dimenhydrinate. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Sodium oxybate (GHB) because an increase in sleep duration and a decrease in the ability to breathe are likely to occur;
  • MAO inhibitors (eg, phenelzine) because serious side effects, such as high blood pressure or seizure, may occur;
  • Antibiotics that may cause hearing problems (eg, gentamicin, vancomycin) because dimenhydrinate may mask symptoms of hearing problems.

Does food or alcohol interact with dimenhydrinate?

Dimenhydrinate may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with dimenhydrinate?

Dimenhydrinate may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

  • if you have asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, emphysema, lung disease, shortness of breath, or sleep apnea
  • if you have a blockage of the stomach, intestine, or urinary tract; difficulty urinating; diabetes; ulcers; enlargement of the prostate; glaucoma; heart disease; irregular heartbeat; high blood pressure; porphyria; or thyroid disease.

Understand the Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.

What is the dose of Dimenhydrinate for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Motion Sickness

50 to 100 mg, orally, intramuscular or intravenous, every 4 to 6 hours, to a maximum of 400 mg in 24 hours. The first dose should be taken 30 to 60 minutes before starting activity.

What is the dose of Dimenhydrinate for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Motion Sickness

Greater than or equal to 2 to less than 6 years: 12.5 to 25 mg orally every 6 to 8 hours, to a maximum of 75 mg in 24 hours.

Greater than or equal to 6 to less than 12 years: 25 to 50 mg orally every 6 to 8 hours, to a maximum of 150 mg in 24 hours.

Greater than 12 years: 25 to 100 mg orally 30 to 60 minutes before starting activity, then 25 to 100 mg every 4 to 6 hours, to maximum of 400 mg in 24 hours.

The first dose should be taken 30 to 60 minutes before starting activity.

How is dimenhydrinate available?

Dimenhydrinate is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Solution, Injection: Generic: 50 mg/mL (1 mL)
  • Tablet, Oral:

Dramamine: 50 mg

Driminate: 50 mg

Motion Sickness: 50 mg

Generic: 50 mg

  • Tablet Chewable, Oral: Dramamine: 50 mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • large pupils (black circles in the centers of the eyes);
  • flushed face;
  • drowsiness or sleepiness;
  • excitation or hyperactivity;
  • hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist);
  • difficulty understanding reality;
  • confusion;
  • difficulty speaking or swallowing;
  • unsteadiness;
  • seizures;
  • unresponsiveness or coma (loss of consciousness for a period of time).

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of dimenhydrinate, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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