Dimenhydrinate

Pronunciation

Generic Name: dimenhydrinate (dye-men-HYE-dri-nate)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available.

Dimenhydrinate is used for:

Preventing and treating nausea, vomiting, and dizziness caused by motion sickness. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Dimenhydrinate is an antihistamine and anticholinergic. It works in the brain to decrease nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.

Do NOT use dimenhydrinate if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in dimenhydrinate or other similar medicines
  • you are taking sodium oxybate (GHB)
  • you are currently taking or have taken a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor (eg, phenelzine) in the past 14 days
  • you are breast-feeding

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: Is it Safe to Give Human Medicine to Pets?

Always get your pet's drug and dose recommendation from the veterinarian.

Before using dimenhydrinate:

Some medical conditions may interact with dimenhydrinate. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, emphysema, lung disease, shortness of breath, or sleep apnea
  • if you have a blockage of the stomach, intestine, or urinary tract; difficulty urinating; diabetes; ulcers; enlargement of the prostate; glaucoma; heart disease; irregular heartbeat; high blood pressure; porphyria; or thyroid disease

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with dimenhydrinate. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Sodium oxybate (GHB) because an increase in sleep duration and a decrease in the ability to breathe are likely to occur
  • MAO inhibitors (eg, phenelzine) because serious side effects, such as high blood pressure or seizure, may occur
  • Antibiotics that may cause hearing problems (eg, gentamicin, vancomycin) because dimenhydrinate may mask symptoms of hearing problems

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if dimenhydrinate may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use dimenhydrinate:

Use dimenhydrinate as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Dimenhydrinate is usually administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using dimenhydrinate at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
  • If dimenhydrinate contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.
  • Take the first dose at least 30 minutes before activity or travel.
  • If you miss a dose of dimenhydrinate and you are taking it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use dimenhydrinate.

Important safety information:

  • Dimenhydrinate may cause drowsiness or dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to dimenhydrinate. Using dimenhydrinate alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or taking other medications that cause drowsiness (eg, sedatives, tranquilizers) while taking dimenhydrinate. Dimenhydrinate will add to the effects of alcohol and other depressants. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines are depressants.
  • Dimenhydrinate may cause dizziness. Alcohol, hot weather, exercise, and fever can increase this effect. To prevent it, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Also, sit or lie down at the first sign of dizziness.
  • Do not exceed the recommended dose or use dimenhydrinate more frequently or for longer than prescribed without first checking with your doctor.
  • Do not become overheated in hot weather or during exercise or other activities since heatstroke may occur.
  • Dimenhydrinate may cause increased sensitivity to the sun. Avoid exposure to the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to dimenhydrinate. Use a sunscreen or protective clothing if you must be outside for a prolonged period.
  • Do not use dimenhydrinate with any medicine that contains diphenhydramine. Before you begin taking any new prescription or nonprescription medicine, including one used on the skin, read the ingredients to see if it also contains diphenhydramine or another similar medicine (eg, antihistamine). If it does, or if you are uncertain if it does, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Use dimenhydrinate with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially dizziness, sedation, and lightheadedness upon standing.
  • Some of these products contain benzyl alcohol, a preservative. Do not use products containing benzyl alcohol in INFANTS because serious and sometimes fatal nervous system problems and other side effects may occur. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if this product contains benzyl alcohol.
  • Use dimenhydrinate with caution in CHILDREN because they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially excitability.
  • Use of dimenhydrinate is not recommended in CHILDREN younger than 2 years of age without first talking with the child's doctor. Safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using dimenhydrinate during pregnancy. Dimenhydrinate is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking dimenhydrinate.

Possible side effects of dimenhydrinate:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth, throat, and nose; thickening of mucus in nose or throat.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; convulsions; decreased alertness; difficulty urinating; excessive excitability; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or sore throat; hallucinations; mental or mood changes; pounding in the chest; seizures; tremor; unusual bruising or bleeding; wheezing; yellowing of the eyes or skin.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include coma; excitement; hallucinations; loss of consciousness; muscle twitching; seizures; severe drowsiness; tremor; weakness.

Proper storage of dimenhydrinate:

Dimenhydrinate is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using dimenhydrinate at home, store dimenhydrinate as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep dimenhydrinate out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about dimenhydrinate, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Dimenhydrinate is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take dimenhydrinate or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about dimenhydrinate. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to dimenhydrinate. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using dimenhydrinate.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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