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Health at Sea Questions on the treatment of sea sickness and other cruise-related health topics.

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Old October 8th, 2000, 07:45 AM
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Default bonine

If one has tendencies toward sea sickness would you recommend bonine taken prior to cruising and throughout the week long cruise. Is this medication generally successful for most people? What are any possible side effects? How much would you recommend be taken and how often?
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Old October 9th, 2000, 08:22 AM
John Burns, R.Ph.
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Default RE: bonine

Hi, Lynn! Thank you for your questions!

To answer your first question: The general recommendation for use of Bonine in treating seasickness is to take the first dose one or two hours before boarding the ship. However, if you also have trouble with motion sickness in cars or airplanes, start taking it one to two hours before that leg of your trip. I generally recommend that you continue taking the Bonine throughout the entire trip, because it is easier to prevent seasickness than to treat it.

The recommended oral dosage for Bonine (meclizine hydrochloride) is 25 to 50 mg (1 or 2 tablets) daily. If you are finding that you aren't getting adequate effect for the full 24 hours, try splitting the dosage up into two doses (1/2 - 1 tablet) every 12 hours.

Most people that I've spoken to swear by Bonine for preventing motion sickness. However, it isn't 100% effective, because of differences in metabolism or difference in tolerances for motion, etc. The only two side effects that you really need to be concerned with are the possibility that it might cause drowsiness, or cause a dry mouth. HOWEVER...most people don't experience the drowsiness effect with Bonine (only in 6% of users, versus 20-30% with Dramamine), and the incidence of dry mouth is less than 2%, and is easily controlled by sipping juices or water. Bonine should not be used concurrently with alcohol consumption for two reasons: 1) alcohol adds to the drowsiness side effect of Bonine, and; 2) the alcohol lessens the chance of Bonine being effective in preventing motion sickness, because alcohol enhances the sensation of vertigo caused by the vestibular disturbances which indue motion sickness.

Hope this helps you, Lynn! Happy cruising!

John Burns, R.Ph.
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