Dramamine vs Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) – Which Is The Best Medicine For Motion Sickness

Dramamine

It is the brand name of a drug called dimenhydrinate, that belongs to a group of medications known as H1 antagonists. It works by calming the nerves in the middle ear which are responsible for stability as well as it blocks the trigger zone in the brain which is responsible for vomiting and nausea.

The medication was originally approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1949. In the present day, it is produced by Prestige Brands Holdings, Inc., an American company that markets and distributes household cleaning and OTC healthcare products.

Uses

This over-the-counter medication is typically used to treat symptoms of motion sickness, including vomiting, nausea, and dizziness.

Motion sickness is a condition that most commonly affects pregnant women, children from 2 to 12 years old, and people who are prone to migraines.

Vomiting and nausea are the most common symptoms caused by motion sickness. Also, it can cause headaches, cold sweats, and pain or you might get sleepy or have more saliva.

Dosage

The medication comes in tablet form but can also be bought as a chewable tablet or liquid.

For children ages 2 or more, the usual recommended dose is 15 to 25 mg every 6 to 8 hours. For adults, the usual recommended dose is 50 to 100 mg taken 4 to 6 hours or as needed.

Note – it should not be given to children under the age of 1.

Side Effects and Precautions of Dimenhydrinate

Common side effects may include:

  • dry nose, mouth, or throat;
  • drowsiness;
  • feeling excited or restless (especially in children);
  • blurred vision;
  • constipation.

Rare side effects may include:

  • little or no urination;
  • fast or irregular heartbeats;
  • a seizure (convulsions);
  • mood changes;
  • tremors;
  • confusion.

Drug Interactions

This histamine antagonist may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • muscle relaxants;
  • sodium oxybate;
  • belladonna alkaloids;
  • MAO inhibitors, such as – isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), methylene blue (Urolene Blue), or linezolid (Zyvox);
  • Scopolamine (Transderm-Scop);
  • narcotic pain relievers, such as – codeine;
  • amitriptyline (Elavil);
  • antibiotics, like – vancomycin (Vancocin) and gentamicin (Garamycin);
  • alprazolam (Niravam or Xanax);
  • antispasmodics, such as – atropine (Atreza, Sal-Tropine);
  • zolpidem (Intermezzo, Zolpimist, Ambien);
  • medications which treat Parkinson’s disease, like – trihexyphenidyl (Artane and Trihexane) or benztropine (Cogentin);
  • trazodone (Oleptro);
  • carbamazepine (Tegretol, Carbatrol, Equetro);
  • risperidone (Risperdal);
  • chlorpromazine (Thorazine);
  • diazepam (Diastat or Valium).

To be sure that this medication is safe for you, tell your healthcare provider if you have any of the following health conditions:

  • sleep apnea;
  • asthma;
  • porphyrias (rare genetic disorders which result in part of your hemoglobin not being made properly);
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD);
  • blockages in your intestines, stomach, or urinary tract;
  • emphysema;
  • enlargement of the prostate;
  • chronic bronchitis;
  • high blood pressure;
  • shortness of breath;
  • irregular heartbeat;
  • lung disease;
  • heart disease;
  • difficulty urinating;
  • glaucoma;
  • type 2 diabetes mellitus;
  • ulcers.

Benadrylmed

It is the brand name of a generic drug called diphenhydramine, a potent antihistamine which can be used to help you relax and fall asleep as well as to relieve symptoms of allergy, the common cold, and hay fever (a form of inflammation in the nose which occurs when the immune system overreacts to allergens).

It works by blocking the effects of histamine, a natural compound that is released by the body.

Uses

This antihistamine is used to suppress coughs, to treat motion sickness, to induce sleep, and to treat mild forms of Parkinson’s disease. Also, it is used to treat rashes, hives, itching, a runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, and other signs and symptoms of seasonal or year-round allergies.

Dosage

The recommended dose is 25-50 mg every 4-6 hours. It is not recommended for use in children under 6 years. The maximum recommended dose should not exceed 400 mg per day.

Side Effects And Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • upset stomach;
  • fatigue;
  • blurred vision;
  • drowsiness;
  • loss of appetite;
  • disturbed coordination;
  • headaches;
  • constipation;
  • tremor;
  • tiredness;
  • enlarged prostate;
  • sleepiness;
  • difficulty urinating;
  • dizziness;
  • dry mouth;
  • double vision;
  • nausea.

Before using this antihistamine, tell your doctor if you have:

  • glaucoma;
  • an allergy to diphenhydramine;
  • a colostomy or ileostomy;
  • a stomach ulcer;
  • liver disease;
  • increased pressure in the eye;
  • bladder obstruction;
  • an overactive thyroid;
  • low blood pressure;
  • blockage in your digestive tract;
  • heart disease;
  • kidney disease;
  • a cough caused by emphysema;
  • an enlarged prostate;
  • asthma;
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,

Drug Interactions

This antihistamine may interact with:

  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors;
  • any other drugs which make you feel drowsy, sleepy, or relaxed;
  • antidepressants;
  • prednisolone acetate;
  • potassium supplements, including – Epiklor, Cytra, Urocit-K, K-Phos, Kaon, and Polycitra;
  • anxiety or sleep drugs;
  • allergy medicines;
  • faslodex;
  • over-the-counter cold medicines.

This drug may also have addictive effects, especially for people who use it in long term.

Alcohol

Do not drink alcohol while using this antihistamine since alcohol can increase the risk of side effects, especially drowsiness and dizziness.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

There are no clinical studies regarding the safe use of this medication during pregnancy, hence, contact your doctor before using this antihistamine medicine if you are pregnant or plan to fall pregnant.

Additionally, it can pass into breast milk and may affect the infant in a negative way, thus, avoid the medication if you are breastfeeding.

Dramamine vs Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) – Which Is The Best Medicine For Motion Sickness?

Dramamine (active ingredient – dimenhydrinate) is an antihistamine which reduces the effects of histamine, a natural chemical in the body. It is used to treat or prevent vomiting, nausea, and dizziness associated with motion sickness.

Benadryl (active ingredient – diphenhydramine) is a first-generation antihistamine medicine. It is effective in treating symptoms of mild allergy and the common cold as well as sneezing, a runny nose, hives, and itching.

Both antihistamines can be used for motion sickness, but Benadryl is most commonly used for allergic reactions and Dramamine is commonly used for motion sickness. For best results take it about 30 to 60 minutes before exposure to motion sickness triggers.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/13298005
http://pubs.rsna.org/doi/abs/10.1148/66.3.403
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17957907

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