Motion sickness tablets not for daily use

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August 12, 2019 - 10:02 AM

Dear Dr. Roach: Recently, some friends and I thought about taking OTC motion sickness tabs every day, even when not boating. Then, we’d always be ready for any motion sickness situations. It seems like a great idea, but would we develop a tolerance for motion sickness tabs and have to take more as time goes by? — J.W.

 

Answer: I don’t recommend it. OTC motion sickness tablets are generally antihistamines, and they have the potential for side effects, especially sleepiness, falls and motor vehicle accidents. More importantly, there is some evidence of tachyphylaxis — that they will be less effective over time. Taking a higher dose might be more effective, but then the risk of side effect becomes even higher.

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