Dimenhydrinate is an over-the-counter antihistamine medication designed to prevent and treat nausea, vomiting, dizziness, vertigo and motion sickness. Motion sickness is most commonly caused by a non-congruence of perceived or felt physical motion versus visual motion; if the body feels motion but does not see it, or sees it but does not feel it, or both sees and feels motion but the sensations do not correctly coincide, the brain will sometimes take this non-congruence to be a possible hallucination and direct derivative of poisoning. In this case, in order to protect us, the brain will induce nausea and/or vomiting to expel the poison it believes to be in our system. As an antihistamine, Dimenhydrinate works to help create a necessary balance within the human body so that the motion sickness is decreased and the associated nausea and vomiting are minimized if not hopefully avoided altogether. On occasion (and only by doctor's orders), Dimenhydrinate is also used for the treatment of Meniere's disease, a condition affecting the inner human ear resulting in extreme dizziness, loss of balance, ringing in the ears, and even hearing loss. This antihistamine should only be used to treat Meniere's under supervised medical diagnosis, however, and you should not take it upon yourself to self-diagnose or self-medicate with the Dimenhydrinate antihistamine in the case of possible and unconfirmed Meniere's.
The antihistamine Dimenhydrinate is most commonly known in the United States under the brand name Dramamine. This antihistamine comes most commonly in pill form, though both liquid and suppository versions of the antihistamine also exist. The Dramamine brand also offers this antihistamine medication in a chewable version, as well as a Less-Drowsy version for those who are concerned with possible safety issues or general displeasure with drowsiness-inducing medications. Users of this antihistamine should know that common side-effects of Dimenhydrinate include dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision. If any of these side effects occur, you should safely avoid any situation wherein you may hurt yourself or others. Alcohol, which may increase drowsiness and dizziness while taken in conjunction with the Dimenhydrinate antihistamine, should also be avoided.
This antihistamine is similar to the antihistamine Diphenhydramine (also known by the brand name Benadryl), though its potency is lower and it possesses a longer latency than that of Diphenhydramine. Chemically, Dimenhydrinate itself is an ionic compound of the aforementioned Diphenhydramine antihistamine and a chlorinated derivative of theophylline (better known as the stimulant 8-chlorotheophylline). As with any other antihistamine medication, and all medication in general, you should only use as directed. In case of an overdose which has rendered the victim unconscious or not breathing, you should immediately call Emergency Services at 911. Otherwise, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Symptoms of overdose for this antihistamine medication may include but are not limited to the following: confusion, difficulty speaking/swallowing, difficulty understanding reality, excessive drowsiness, excitation or hyperactivity, flushed face, hallucinations, large pupils, seizures, unsteadiness, and unresponsiveness or coma.