Meclizine for vertigo reviews

Meclizine tablets or capsules

What is this medicine?

MECLIZINE (MEK li zeen) is an antihistamine. It is used to prevent nausea, vomiting, or dizziness caused by motion sickness. It is also used to prevent and treat vertigo (extreme dizziness or a feeling that you or your surroundings are tilting or spinning around).

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Antivert, Dramamine Less Drowsy, Medivert, Meni-D

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • glaucoma

  • lung or breathing disease, like asthma

  • problems urinating

  • prostate disease

  • stomach or intestine problems

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to meclizine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. If you are using this medicine to prevent motion sickness, take the dose at least 1 hour before travel. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food or milk. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • alcohol

  • antihistamines for allergy, cough and cold

  • certain medicines for anxiety or sleep

  • certain medicines for depression, like amitriptyline, fluoxetine, sertraline

  • certain medicines for seizures like phenobarbital, primidone

  • general anesthetics like halothane, isoflurane, methoxyflurane, propofol

  • local anesthetics like lidocaine, pramoxine, tetracaine

  • medicines that relax muscles for surgery

  • narcotic medicines for pain

  • phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or healthcare professional if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.

This medicine may cause dry eyes and blurred vision. If you wear contact lenses you may feel some discomfort. Lubricating drops may help. See your eye doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • feeling faint or lightheaded, falls

  • fast, irregular heartbeat

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • constipation

  • headache

  • trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine

  • trouble sleeping

  • upset stomach

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

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What is the best medicine for vertigo?

Kids may enjoy spinning in circles, getting dizzy and falling down, but for adults the sensation of the world spinning – commonly diagnosed as vertigo – can range from discomfort to debilitation.

Equally frustrating for those suffering with vertigo is the lack of a one-size-fits-all fix. That’s not to suggest there aren’t treatments that work for some.

Brian Fahey, DO, a neurologist at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center Neurological Institute, says understanding the type of vertigo you’re experiencing is crucial before heading to the pharmacist.

What is vertigo?

Vertigo is dizziness that has movement quality, such as the feeling that you’re spinning or the world is spinning around you. You may feel like you have to hold onto something to not fall down.

Dr. Fahey explains a common misconception is that dizziness is the same as vertigo. For example, lightheadedness is not vertigo because there is no side-to-side movement or sense of spinning.

“Vertigo is a miserable condition, it really is. It can cause nausea and vomiting, and it can certainly cause people to miss work,” says Dr. Fahey.

The cause of a person’s vertigo can vary greatly, from innocent causes such as an inner ear infection or migraine-related dizziness to more severe origins, such as a stroke in the back of the brain. Dr. Fahey notes a stroke would be accompanied by vomiting, double vision and sudden onset of vertigo.

What are the treatment options for vertigo?

The specific diagnosis dictates which of these treatment options is the best for each patient:

  • Migraine-related vertigo typically responds to medications that can prevent migraines.
  • Acute vertigo is best treated with nonspecific medication such as dimenhydrinate (Dramamine®) and meclizine (Bonine®). These medications are eventually weaned as they can prevent healing over the long-term, explains Dr. Fahey.
  • Vertigo that only occurs within the first five minutes of standing is typically due to blood pressure dropping (orthostatic hypotension). There are medications that can be used in this situation including (Dramamine®) and meclizine (Bonine®). Patients can also wear thigh-high compression stockings or abdominal binders, or raise the head of the bed, increase salt intake and increase fluids.
  • Intermittent vertigo provoked by movement of the head or neck typically responds to a special type of physical therapy called vestibular rehabilitation.
  • Intermittent vertigo provoked by very specific movements such as lying down in bed or rolling over in bed may be Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo – which typically responds very well to a specific sequence of movements known as the Epley maneuver. “These movements can be found online but I always think it best to have them performed by a professional.”

When to see a neurologist?

Frequency of your feelings of vertigo is perhaps the most important factor when considering if you need to see a doctor.

Is it intermittent? Is it persistent? Is it a single event or episodic?

“Someone who had an upper respiratory infection then is horribly dizzy a few days later – this vertigo is being caused by a virus affecting the inner ear. Bottom line is it will go away on its own,” explains Dr. Fahey.

Conversely, a person who has had dizziness two to three times a month, lasting multiple hours each time, is experiencing vertigo that should be evaluated by a doctor.

“An important point is that vertigo is not a diagnosis but the medical term for dizziness with the quality of movement such as spinning. Arriving at a specific diagnosis and treating the cause are optimal. Many causes of vertigo are innocent. However, from time to time vertigo is a symptom of a serious disorder,” Dr. Fahey says.

Schedule directly with a neurologist

Ohio State now offers direct online scheduling with our neurologists to address conditions such as vertigo without needing a referral from your primary care doctor.

Dr. Fahey says the advantage of going straight to a neurologist is seeing a doctor who has more experience with neurological issues and is focused on the latest research and treatments in the field.


Since drowsiness may, on occasion, occur with use of this drug, patients should be warned of this possibility and cautioned against driving a car or operating dangerous machinery.

Patients should avoid alcoholic beverages while taking this drug.

Due to its potential anticholinergic action, this drug should be used with caution in patients with asthma, glaucoma, or enlargement of the prostate gland.


Pediatric Use

Clinical studies establishing safety and effectiveness in children have not been done; therefore, usage is not recommended in children under 12 years of age.


Pregnancy Category B

Reproduction studies in rats have shown cleft palates at 25–50 times the human dose. Epidemiological studies in pregnant women, however, do not indicate that meclizine increases the risk of abnormalities when administered during pregnancy. Despite the animal findings, it would appear that the possibility of fetal harm is remote. Nevertheless, meclizine, or any other medication, should be used during pregnancy only if clearly necessary.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when meclizine is administered to a nursing woman.

Hepatic Impairment

The effect of hepatic impairment on the pharmacokinetics of meclizine has not been evaluated. As meclizine undergoes metabolism, hepatic impairment may result in increased systemic exposure of the drug. Treatment with meclizine should be administered with caution in patients with hepatic impairment.

Renal Impairment

The effect of renal impairment on the pharmacokinetics of meclizine has not been evaluated. Due to a potential for drug/metabolite accumulation, meclizine should be administered with caution in patients with renal impairment and in the elderly as renal function generally declines with age.

Occasional nausea and vomiting can be prevented and treated with OTC therapy.
For an individual experiencing episodes of nausea and vomiting, finding immediate relief is a top priority. OTC products for the treatment of nausea and vomiting include antihistamines, bismuth subsalicylate, antacids, histamine2 (H2)- receptor antagonists, and phosphorated carbohydrate solution.
Various nonpharmacologic products, such as Sea-Band and BioBands wristbands, which use the principles of acupressure, are also available for the treatment of nausea and vomiting. Acupressure wristbands are indicated for relief of nausea, vomiting, motion sickness, and overeating.1 In addition, a host of complementary/alternative products, such as ginger, peppermint, chamomile, and other botanical products, are also often used for the treatment of nausea and vomiting.1
OTC products should only be used to prevent or treat the symptoms of mild, occasional, self-treatable episodes of nausea and vomiting. Patients experiencing severe nausea and vomiting should be referred for further medical evaluation. Factors to consider when selecting an OTC product include the age of the patient, whether patient is pregnant or lactating, other medical conditions, and the patient’s current medication profile.
OTC antihistamines indicated for the prevention and treatment of nausea, vomiting, and dizziness associated with motion sickness include meclizine, cyclizine, dimenhydrinate, and diphenhydramine (Table 1). Patients should be advised to take these products at least 30 to 60 minutes before travel to allow sufficient time for onset of action. During counseling, they should also be made aware of the possible adverse effects associated with the use of these products, such as drowsiness, blurred vision, dry mouth, and urinary retention. Patients with certain medical conditions, such as asthma, narrow angle glaucoma, or benign prostatic hypertrophy, should be counseled not to use these products unless directed by their physician. 1 Patients should be cautioned about the increased sedative effect that may occur when antihistamines are used in conjunction with central nervous system depressants, such as alcohol, tranquilizers, and hypnotics. The use of antihistamines may cause paradoxical stimulation and agitation in the pediatric population, as well as confusion among geriatric patients.1
Table 1: Examples of OTC Antiemetic Products

Brand Name Active Ingredient, Strength
Bonine Original Tablets Meclizine HCl 25 mg
Bonine for Kids Tablets Cyclizine HCl 25 mg
Dramamine Chewable Tablets Dimenhydrinate 50 mg
Dramamine Less Drowsy Formula Tablets Meclizine HCl 25 mg
Emetrol Cherry Flavored Liquid Per 5 mL: phosphoric acid 21.5 mg, dextrose 1.87 g, fructose 1.87 g
Marezine for Motion Sickness Tablets Cyclizine 50 mg

Nauzene Liquid

Per 15 mL: dextrose 4.35 g, levulose 4.17 g, sodium citrate dihydrate 0.921 g

Triptone for Motion Sickness

Dimenhydrinate 50 mg

In some cases, nausea and vomiting can be attributed to excessive or disagreeable food or beverage ingestion. Often products such as antacids, H2-receptor antagonists, bis- muth subsalicylate, and phosphorated carbohydrate solution can be used to relieve the symptoms of nausea associated with food overindulgence.1 Phosphorated carbohydrate solutions can also be used to relieve symptoms of nausea and vomiting associated with upset stomach caused by viral gastroenteritis and motion sickness.1 Patients should be advised to take the recommended dosage at 15-minute intervals until symptoms subside, not to exceed 1 hour or >5 doses. To maximize the effectiveness of this product, it should not be diluted.1,2 Due to the high fructose and glucose content, patients with hereditary fructose intolerance and diabetes should not use phosphorated carbohydrate solutions.1,2
Although many cases are mild and selftreatable, nausea and vomiting can sometimes be attributed to or an indication of a more serious medical condition, such as intestinal blockage, appendicitis, or migraine headaches.1,3 Individuals with chronic medical conditions should always be referred to their physician for the management of nausea and vomiting. Therefore, prior to recommending any of these OTC products, it is imperative for pharmacists to ascertain if self-treatment is appropriate. Pharmacists should ensure that patients clearly understand the proper use of these OTC products and seek immediate medical care if the nausea and vomiting are prolonged (lasting longer than 24-48 hours) or if symptoms worsen. When appropriate, pharmacists should also encourage patients to drink clear liquids, such as electrolyte replacement solutions, and maintain adequate fluid intake to avoid possible dehydration. Pregnant or lactating women experiencing nausea and vomiting should always consult their physician prior to using any medication.
Pharmacists are also in a unique position to help select products for pediatric patients, because children aged 2 years and younger should not use antihistamine products, such as dimenhydrinate and diphenhydramine. Cyclizine should not be used by children younger than 6 years of age, and meclizine and bismuth subsalicylate should not be used by children younger than 12 years of age.1
Prior to recommending any products, pharmacists should screen for possible contraindications and drug interactions in individuals with preexisting medical conditions and those currently taking any other medications. These patients should be encouraged to consult their primary health care provider prior to using any of these products. Because possible dehydration and electrolyte imbalance are common concerns with episodes of vomiting, especially among pediatric patients, patients should be aware of the signs of dehydration and be encouraged to seek medical attention when warranted.

Table 2: Examples of Exclusions for Self-Treatment of Nausea and Vomiting

  • Any signs of abdominal pain or distention

  • Any sign of dehydration, such as lethargy and decrease in urine output

  • Blood in vomit

  • Changes in the level of alertness, mental clarity, or behavior

  • Difficulty breathing and episodes of tachycardia

  • Nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy/radiation therapy or other metabolic disorders

  • Prolonged vomiting lasting more than 24 hours, especially in children

  • Recent head trauma

  • Suspected poisoning

  • Suspected pregnancy

  • Vomiting accompanied by any of the following: fever, diarrhea, severe headache, stiff neck

Adapted from references 1 and 2.

Table 3: Signs of Dehydration in Children

  • Absence of or decreased tear production

  • Concentrated urine

  • Decreased alertness or signs of lethargy

  • Decreased skin turgor

  • Decreased urine output

  • Dry mouth and tongue

  • Excessive thirst

  • Rapid heartbeat

  • Sunken eyes

Adapted from references 1 and 2.
Ms. Terrie is a clinical pharmacy writer based in Haymarket, Virginia.

  1. McWhorter, Laura Shane, and Oderda Lynda. Nausea and Vomiting. . In: Berardi R, Newton G, McDermott JH, et al, eds. Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs. 16th ed. Washington, DC: American Pharmacists Association: 2009:335-353.
  2. Emetrol Product Information. WellSpring Pharmaceutical Web site. Accessed May 8, 2010.
  3. Nausea and Vomiting, Medline Plus ( Service of United States National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health Web site. Accessed May 7, 2010.

Antiemetic Drugs

Some antiemetic drugs are taken by mouth. Others are available as an injection or as a patch placed on your body so you don’t have to swallow anything. The type of antiemetic drug you should take depends on what is causing your symptoms:

Antiemetics for motion sickness

Antihistamines that prevent nausea and vomiting caused by motion sickness are available over the counter (OTC). They work by keeping your inner ear from fully sensing motion and include:

  • dimenhydrinate (Dramamine, Gravol)
  • meclizine (Dramamine Less Drowsy, Bonine)

Antiemetics for stomach flu

The stomach flu, or gastroenteritis, is caused by a virus or bacteria. The OTC drug bismuth-subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol) works by coating your stomach lining. You can also try OTC glucose, fructose, or phosphoric acid (Emetrol).

Antiemetics for chemotherapy

Nausea and vomiting are a common part of chemotherapy treatment. Antiemetic drugs are used before and after chemotherapy to prevent symptoms.

Some prescription treatments include:

Antiemetics for surgery

Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) can be caused by the anesthesia used during a surgery. Prescription drugs used for treating PONV include:

  • serotonin 5-HT3 receptor antagonists: dolasetron, granisetron, ondansetron
  • dopamine antagonists: metoclopramide (Reglan), droperidol (Inapsine), domperidone
  • corticosteroids: dexamethasone

Antiemetics for morning sickness

Morning sickness is common during pregnancy. However, antiemetic drugs aren’t usually prescribed unless it’s severe.

Hyperemesis gravidarum is a pregnancy complication that causes severe nausea and vomiting. If you have this condition, your doctor may prescribe:

  • antihistamines, such as dimenhydrinate
  • vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine)
  • dopamine antagonists, such as prochlorperazine, promethazine (Pentazine, Phenergan)
  • metoclopramide if other treatments don’t work

Meclizine Online Prescription

  • Request meclizine online prescription
  • Responsive providers
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Meclizine – An Overview

Meclizine, marketed under the brand name Antivert, is a type of antihistamine medication. People who need prescription meclizine can connect with a medical provider through Push Health who can prescribe meclizine if clinically appropriate to do so.

What Is Meclizine Used For?

Meclizine is primarily used for the management of nausea and vomiting related to motion sickness. Meclizine for vertigo is sometimes also prescribed if the meclizine is associated with the vestibular system. Meclizine is an antihistamine that works to block the effect of the vasodepressor response to histamine. As an antagonist of H1 receptors, it is thought to help reduce labyrinth stimulation and it also has some dopamine antagonist activity.

Meclizine for Anxiety?

Some people have heard of using meclizine for anxiety. Can meclizine be used to relieve anxiety symptoms? So far, meclizine is indicated for nausea and vomiting related to motion sickness and potentially vertigo and no studies have demonstrated that meclizine for anxiety is of benefit to date.

Meclizine – Dosage and Cost

Meclizine is generally packaged in the form meclizine hydrochloride (meclizine HCl) and is available as meclizine HCl 12.5 mg tablets, meclizine HCl 25 mg tablets, and meclizine HCl 50 mg tablets with other inert ingredients. After oral administration of a meclizine tablet, meclizine reaches its highest plasma concentration within three hours and it has an elimination half-life from the plasma of 5-6 hours. The typical starting dose of meclizine HCl for vertigo and motion sickness is meclizine 25 mg. Meclizine is affordable at most pharmacies, costing under forty cents per pill for prescription versions of meclizine. Meclizine coupons may also be available online to reduce any associated out-of-pocket costs at the pharmacy.

Can I Buy Meclizine Online?

Some versions of meclizine are available as meclizine OTC (over the counter) as part of brands such as Dramamine. Prescription versions of meclizine first require a consultation with a medical provider. As a result, one cannot simply buy meclizine online if it requires a prescription. Push Health can connect people in need of prescription meclizine with a licensed medical provider who can provide the medication if it is safe and appropriate to do so.

Meclizine – Side Effects

Meclizine can cause side effects such as dry mouth, fatigue, and drowsiness. Use of heavy machinery or automobiles should be avoided while taking meclizine due to these side effects. Meclizine should not be used by people who have hypersensitivity or have had an allergic reaction to the medication. Meclizine and alcohol should not be used at the same time. Meclizine should generally not be used by people with glaucoma, bronchospasm or prostate issues. Questions and concerns about meclizine’s side effects should be discussed with a medical practitioner before starting the medication.

More Meclizine Information

  • Medline

Last updated November 25, 2019. Given the evolving nature of medicine and science, this information might not be accurate and should not be construed as medical advice or diagnosis / treatment recommendations. Please consult a licensed medical provider if you have additional questions.

Meclizine for Anxiety Symptoms

Meclizine is traditionally a motion sickness drug used to prevent nausea, vomiting and dizziness. It works by blocking a chemical messenger to the brain. Meclizine has also been found to be helpful for treating vertigo.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Will Meclizine help Anxiety?

Many patients report nausea and dizziness during a panic attack. Meclizine will help with these symptoms because they are the same as the motion sickness symptoms. Meclizine also acts as a central nervous system depressant similar to the effect of a local anesthetic. This may help if there is any pain experienced with an anxiety attack and will calm body function down overall.

Reasons Why It Won’t Work?

Meclizine takes an hour to work. A patient having severe anxiety probably cannot wait that long. Its effects can last between eight and 24 hours. There are no studies proving it will eliminate anxiety.

The Connection Between Motion Sickness and Anxiety

Motion sickness is caused by signals getting mixed up from the inner ear. People who suffer from inflammation of the inner ear also report chronic anxiety. The inner ear is connected to both motion sickness and anxiety.

Patient Reports

There have been reports on health boards that people have found relief from their anxiety after taking meclizine for motion sickness. Many people who have chronic anxiety report they suffer from motion sickness as well.

Meclizine Can be Harmful

Meclizine is known to make people drowsy. If you are already taking a prescription for anxiety, meclizine it will add to the sleepiness you already feel. It is recommended you don’t combine the two medications.

The Wrap Up

Meclizine is traditionally a motion sickness drug used to prevent nausea, vomiting and dizziness. Meclizine will help with these symptoms because they are the same as the motion sickness symptoms. There are no studies proving it will eliminate anxiety. Many people who have chronic anxiety report they suffer from motion sickness as well.

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