Travel Sickness Treatments
With Simple Online Pharmacy, our UK registered Doctor can prescribe travel sickness patches to help make your road, rail or sea journey more enjoyable. The treatments work by reducing confusion in the brain which arises when what your eyes are seeing and what your motion sensors (in the inner ear), sense. Promethazine and Hyoscine are the two widely used active ingredients to treat motion sickness.
Once you have completed the online doctor consultation, our doctor will review your assessment and prescribe the selected medication if it is appropriate. Our pharmacy will then dispense and dispatch your prescription to your door.
So if you suffer from travel sickness, make sure you get your treatment today, and turn those once excruciating journeys, into an experience you can enjoy. If tablets are not suitable for you, you should try travel sickness patches.Compare Prices
Travel Sickness treatment options
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What is Travel or Motion Sickness?
Motion sickness, also called travel sickness, is the name for a collection of symptoms brought on by constant, repetitive movement. People most often suffer from motion sickness when travelling by car, trains, planes or on ships. It may occur on both short or long journeys. Watching films and playing video games can also trigger motion sickness in some people.
Sometimes, depending on the mode of transport, it is called car sickness, seasickness or air sickness.
People who have had motion sickness in the past are more likely to experience motion sickness again. Research shows women are more prone to motion sickness than men and pregnant women are especially susceptible. It is also common for children between the ages of 3 and 12 to suffer from motion sickness. People who suffer from migraines are often more vulnerable.
Causes of Motion Sickness
Our brains receive information about the movements of the body from the semicircular canals of the inner ear and from the eyes. This information helps the brain estimate the motion and balance of the body.
Motion sickness appears to occur when the information sent from the eyes to the brain is different to the information sent from the inner ear to the brain. This mismatched information causes the brain to become confused about the motion of the body causing people to feel unwell.
Symptoms of motion sickness can start gradually or come on quickly. Below is a list of common symptoms:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach discomfort (often the first symptom)
- Feeling generally unwell
- Pale skin
- Cold sweat
- Tiredness (can last hours or sometimes days)
The sensation that you are moving can continue even when you stop moving and may last hours for some people.
Travel Sickness Treatments
There are medications that can be used to help with motion sickness. These work best when used before travelling to prevent motion sickness, rather than to cure the symptoms when already suffering from motion sickness.
Travel Sickness Tablets
Antimuscarinics - The main antimuscarinic used is Hyoscine (brand name Kwells). It can be used for adults and children aged 10 and above. One dose can be taken every 6 hours if needed but a maximum of 3 doses in 24 hours.
They are best taken 30 minutes to an hour before travelling. Side effects can be dry mouth and drowsiness. Kwells is available in our online pharmacy shop section.
Antihistamines - Antihistamines are commonly used to treat hay fever symptoms but they are effective in treating motion sickness too. A number of these can be used but two common ones are Cinnarizine (brand name Stugeron) and Promethazine (brand name Avomine).
Promethazine can have a sedating effect and some people prefer to use this for travel. Other people prefer Cinnarizine because it is less likely to make you drowsy. These medicines are not suitable for online sale, but you may speak to your local doctor or pharmacist to see if they are right for you.
More information detailing how these treatments work can be found in 'How do travel sickness tablets work'.
Travel Sickness Patches
Travel sickness patches consist of the antimuscarinic hyoscine, also known as scopolamine. This is where the medicine gets the name Scopoderm. These patches are applied to the skin behind your ear and provide protection and relief from motion sickness for up to 72 hours per patch.
Once you have applied the patch, wash your hands and ensure you do not touch your eyes. If you do touch your eyes as it can cause some side effects such as blurred vision. Remove the patch after the motion has stopped or after 72 hours.
Some side effects can include dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, and skin irritation. For a full list of side effects, you may refer to the patient information leaflet.
Lifestyle Treatments for Travel Sickness
There are some useful tips and preventive measures that people can use to help with symptoms of motion sickness:
- Sit in the front seats of cars and stay in the middle of boats or ships
- Smoother driving with less acceleration can help
- Look at a fixed point such as the horizon
- Look slightly upwards
- Close your eyes
- Try to get fresh air, for example by opening a window
- Avoid reading and watching videos
- Avoid heavy meals and alcohol before and during travel
- Listening to music
Travel sickness bands - These are readily available and use acupressure to stimulate the P6 pressure point on the wrist to reportedly improve motion sickness symptoms. There is no good scientific evidence to back this claim but there are no side effects to travel bands (except being allergic to the material), and some people may decide to try these for motion sickness.
Ginger - Ginger as a herbal medication has a long history of use to improve nausea and is sometimes taken for motion sickness. Similar to travel bands, there is little evidence on whether ginger is effective but some people may decide to use it.
Frequently asked questions
How long does motion sickness last?
If no preventive medicine is taken, symptoms usually go away soon after the journey or motion stops, but symptoms may continue for some hours afterwards.
Does motion sickness improve with age?
Motion sickness appears to be most common in children. Elderly people appear to be less likely to suffer from motion sickness. Some people might find as they get older they suffer less from motion sickness.
Why is a driver, less likely to suffer from motion sickness?
Driving the vehicle helps by keeping the person focused on the horizon and knowing when and what movements are coming next. This means the information gathered by the brain is better synchronised. They may also get a psychological boost from being in control of the situation.
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