meclizine, Antivert, Bonine, Meni-D, Antrizine

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GENERIC NAME: meclizine

BRAND NAMES: Antivert, Bonine, Meni-D, Antrizine

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Meclizine is an antihistamine with antiemetic (anti-nausea) and antispasmodic (anti-muscle spasm) activity. It also suppresses the nervous system by blocking the action of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. (Neurotransmitters are chemicals that nerves use for communicating with each other.) Meclizine prevents nausea and vomiting by reducing the activity of the center in the brain that controls nausea. It also prevents motion sickness by reducing excitability of neurons in the motion and balance center (vestibular region) of the brain.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes; no (Dramamine less drowsy formula)

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 12.5, 25, and 50 mg. Capsule: 25 mg

STORAGE: Meclizine tablets should be stored between 15-30 C (59-86 F). Capsules should be stored below 30 C (86 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Meclizine is used for the treatment of nausea, vomiting, and dizziness associated with motion sickness. Meclizine possibly is effective in the treatment of vertigo (balance disorder) caused by diseases of the body's balance (vestibular) system.

DOSING: When used for treating symptoms of motion sickness, meclizine 25-50 mg should be taken one hour prior to travel and then every 24 hours for the duration of the journey. The dosing should not exceed 2 tablets in 24 hours.

Vertigo is treated with 25-100 mg daily in divided doses.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Alcohol, sedatives, and tranquilizers can increase drowsiness caused by meclizine.

PREGNANCY: Meclizine has been used to control nausea during pregnancy. Available evidence does not suggest that use of meclizine during pregnancy is harmful. However, meclizine should be used in pregnancy only if it is clearly needed and under the supervision of a physician.

NURSING MOTHERS: Available information suggests that the risk of harm to the baby is minimal when meclizine is used while nursing.

SIDE EFFECTS: Meclizine can cause drowsiness. Other side effects include nausea, dry mouth, blurred vision, rash constipation, diarrhea and urinary retention (inability or difficulty urinating). Meclizine also has been associated with hypotension (low blood pressure) and heart palpitations.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information


Last Editorial Review: 9/15/2008




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