Author(s): Brainard A, Gresham C
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Motion sickness is a common syndrome that occurs upon exposure to certain types of motion. It is thought to be caused by conflict between the vestibular, visual, and other proprioceptive systems. Although nausea is the hallmark symptom, it is often preceded by stomach awareness, malaise, drowsiness, and irritability. Early self-diagnosis should be emphasized, and patients should be counseled about behavioral and pharmacologic strategies to prevent motion sickness before traveling. Patients should learn to identify situations that will lead to motion sickness and minimize the amount of unpleasant motion they are exposed to by avoiding difficult conditions while traveling or by positioning themselves in the most stable part of the vehicle. Slow, intermittent exposure to the motion can reduce symptoms. Other behavioral strategies include watching the true visual horizon, steering the vehicle, tilting their head into turns, or lying down with their eyes closed. Patients should also attempt to reduce other sources of physical, mental, and emotional discomfort. Scopolamine is a first-line medication for prevention of motion sickness and should be administered transdermally several hours before the anticipated motion exposure. First-generation antihistamines, although sedating, are also effective. Nonsedating antihistamines, ondansetron, and ginger root are not effective in the prevention and treatment of motion sickness.
This article was published in Am Fam Physician
and referenced in International Journal of Advancements in Technology