Dramamine is an over the counter antiemetic; that is, a medication designed to help alleviate nausea and vomiting. It is taken in fifty milligram tablets every four to six hours, though children should only take it every six to eight hours. It also comes in a syrup and in a chewable tablet designed for children experiencing motion sickness.

Dramamine is specifically designed to counter motion sickness, a very common condition caused when the inner ear’s balancing function is thrown off by repetitive motion. Most people find that they experience this when driving in a car, especially on hilly or winding roads, in an airplane, especially during turbulence, and on a ship or boat, where it is known as seasickness. Other symptoms of motion sickness can include sweating, dizziness, and malaise, the general feeling of not feeling well. Dramamine is designed to alleviate all these symptoms.

Dramamine is very effective in preventing motion sickness, especially if you anticipate that you might experience it and take the Dramamine ahead of time. Some people, however, should check with their doctors before taking Dramamine. If you have a respiratory problem, such as emphysema, if you have glaucoma, if you are taking sedatives or tranquilizers, or if you have an enlarged prostate that makes it difficult to urinate, do not take Dramamine until your doctor has reassured you that it is safe for you.

As with all medications, users of Dramamine might experience some side effects of the drug. The most common one is that it might make you sleepy. You should be very careful if you have to drive while taking Dramamine, and you should not operate any machinery that requires you to be highly alert. You should also avoid alcohol; in part because it will make your motion sickness worse, and in part because it can increase the drowsiness effect that may occur with Dramamine. Tranquilizers and sedatives can also increase this effect. Dramamine does come in a new, Less Drowsy Formula; you should consider that option if you cannot avoid driving after taking Dramamine. Dramamine can also sometimes cause headaches, dry mouth, blurred vision, or even upset stomach. Make sure to inform your doctor that you are taking Dramamine, especially if already take medication for the above conditions, or other medications, such as anti-seizure drugs, narcotic pain medications, or medications for coughs, colds, or allergies.

If you are pregnant, you should not take Dramamine until you have checked with your doctor. Because nausea and vomiting are such a common part of pregnancy, most doctors can prescribe a safe antiemetic for you. Nursing mothers should also take the same precautions, because it is not known whether Dramamine is passed into breast milk. Children can take Dramamine at lesser doses or in the syrup form, but if a very young child, under the age of two, experiences motion sickness you should consult a pediatrician before you given them any medication, including Dramamine.

Dramamine is sometimes abused because of the severe side effects that come with an overdose, including confusion and hallucinations.