Ear Home > What Is Meclizine Used For?

Meclizine is approved for treating various conditions. For example, the prescription versions of this drug are licensed to treat motion sickness and vertigo, while the over-the-counter versions are approved for treating and prevention motion sickness. Healthcare providers may also occasionally recommend off-label uses of meclizine, such as for the treatment of nausea and vomiting due to other causes (such as morning sickness).

An Overview of Meclizine Uses

Meclizine hydrochloride (Antivert®, Bonine®, Dramamine® Less Drowsy Formula) is an antihistamine medication that is available both over-the-counter and with a prescription. The non-prescription versions are approved for preventing and treating motion sickness symptoms, such as:
 
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness.
     
The prescription versions are approved for the following conditions:
 
  • Motion sickness
  • Vertigo (a spinning sensation).
     
In general, medications for motion sickness tend to work better if they are started before symptoms begin, although some relief will usually be felt even if the medication is started after symptoms develop. Meclizine is different from many other oral motion sickness and vertigo medications in that it lasts longer and generally causes less drowsiness.
 

How Does Meclizine Work?

Meclizine belongs to a class of drugs called antihistamines, meaning that it blocks histamine receptors. However, it probably works for motion sickness by blocking acetylcholine receptors (with its "anticholinergic" activity).
 

Meclizine Use in Children

Meclizine is approved for use in children as young as 12 years old. It is not approved for use in younger children. Your child's healthcare provider can recommend a better treatment option for motion sickness or vertigo for your child.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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