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Sea sickness pills/patch

My husband will be on an expedition adventure this summer and will be sailing to Greenland and back. He was career Navy (submarines) and never got sea sick on those, nor on the Carrier or other vessels. The company he is going with wants them to have something for this though, which makes sense as they will be on a fairly small 68' yacht. So what do you all suggest? Are the pills OTC, or is an RX better? Pills or the scope patch? We appreciate any suggestions for this and thank you in advance:)

Posted by
960 posts

I have had very good luck with OTC Bonine recommended by my physician.

My best test was in Australia - Great Barrier Reef. Quite rough, trip delayed and almost canceled. I was one of the very few who was not vomiting or nauseous. I am typically very prone to seasickness including a mild day of sailing on Lake Michigan.

Posted by
2515 posts

Hopefully he has fair seas but it is wise to be prepared. I find all seasick meds make me feel worse than seasickness itself, but whatever route he chooses I'd suggest testing it before he leaves so he knows how they make him feel. Also might also want to check out SeaBands or one of the non-drug remedies as well, though I very rarely get seasick I have worn those as a precaution.

Posted by
7013 posts

mikliz97, my daughter has motion sickness and takes dramamine. But keep in mind that most motion sickness remedies (both Rx and OTC) require that you take it before you show symptoms, and can have side effects. The only reason I mention this is that I have been on a multitude of boats in my lifetime and in all kinds of choppy weather; cruise ships, fishing boats, ferries, yachts, etc. I have never once been seasick. I think there are people that are just not affected by motion sickness, so if I were told to take something, I might be hesitant.

That said, it makes sense for him to bring something, but he might want to consider bringing something that is not too strong with milder symptoms. Anyway, these are just my thoughts and obviously he should do what he feels comfortable with. Regardless, I'm sure he is going to have a fantastic time on the expedition!

Posted by
381 posts

I'd suggest the scope patch(es) since that keeps a consistent level of the meds in the system. I used these recently and had no side effects. The waters we were in were mostly calm but had several flights in-between and wanted to also avoid any issues with potential turbulence. I'm always elated when I can get through a journey without motion sickness!

Posted by
8643 posts

I know people who swear by Zofran, a prescription anti-emetic, for car-sickness. I've seen it stop someone from suffering within minutes of taking it.

Posted by
2242 posts

Thank you all!!! Yes, we were talking about him trying out some of this before he goes to make sure there are no bad side effects. The scope patch is what I use before any surgery (learned the hard way), so I am hoping that will be one item in his arsenal;) I had not thought of Zofran, which I also have fro the surgeries, but those can cause constipation as a side effect, so not sure if he will go for that, lol.

Thankfully he can spot sea sickness in others right away, but of course it is always harder to tell on yourself for things like this. He knows exactly what to do though, as being on ships for many years.

There will be only 12 people on the boat. It is a working expedition, so he needs to be able to hold up his end on this. I will check out all of this and we will start exploring, and he will message his doctor as well. I am super excited for him for this, and hopefully he has calm seas!

Posted by
677 posts

If I am going to be on open water, I use a scopolamine patch. For me, it works better than pills.

I remove it when it's not needed (on-shore).

Posted by
459 posts

I get motion sickness (never did grow out of it) so I’ve tried quite a few remedies. Original Dramamine works best for me in most situations, though I’ve used the Scope patch with good success, including on a whale watching trip in Hawaii. Normally I cannot do boats without getting terribly sick so that was a win. Bonine works fine for me i mild situations, as do ginger chews (Chimes brand). Hope your husband finds something that works well!

Posted by
473 posts

Generic Meclizine (OTC) works fantastic for me. It's cheap, has no side-effects (at least for me) and works fantastic.

-- Mike Beebe

Posted by
14250 posts

I'm a terrible sailor. I use SeaBands and put them on usually the morning I know I am going to be on a boat. The stimulation of the accupressure point also helps with anxiety pre-trip which your husband is not going to have. Like Meg, I've also used Ginger chews. I've found them recently in the regular grocery store pharmacy section - not the brand she uses but mine are a Dramamine brand but no dramamine in them...just herbals. I put a few in my pocket so they are easily available.

Posted by
18 posts

I’ve got history with motion sickness and have relied on a rx (Meclizine) in recent years with much success. It makes me a bit drowsy, but last summer’s boat ride in rough waters in the Cinque Terra proved it effective. I try to take it a half hour before travel commences.

Posted by
5128 posts

As this will be a working expedition cruise, it will be essential that he tries any remedies before embarking. He will need to avoid anything that could cause drowsiness or impaired judgement. Dramamine can cause this. Bonine (Meclizine) when taken as recommended) is less likely to cause a problem. As for the scopolomine patch- discuss the risks with your DHs doctor, Blurry vision is a common side effect. Hallucinations are not uncommon in seniors. If your DH was career navy, and didn't have problems with sea sickness, hopefully he will be fine. But better to be prepared, just in case. As someone who can get motion sickness on just about anything that moves, I always travel with Bonine.

Posted by
806 posts

In twenty years of powerboating on the Great Lakes my wife never had a moment of trouble once she found Seabands. Just put it on forget it and have a good time. Much better than some of the meds that can make it worse if taken incorrectly.

Posted by
7566 posts

Because most men weigh more than most women, the drugstore dose of meclizine is not that likely to impair a man who is not even driving a car. That's my vote, because it's good "all night" (You don't need it while on a shore excursion.) It can affect men with BPH, but doesn't cause a problem for me in one week of use - nights only. Since doctors can Rx a half of the OTC dose, you could experiment with cutting meclizine in half, if you oppose medication in general. Note that chewable meclizine MUST be chewed, not swallowed. And vice versa.

I got my doctor to give me a trial dose of Scopalamine patch, and I'm glad he did. Both my wife and I felt like we were sleepwalking on the bottom of a swimming pool. Unusable for us!

Posted by
2242 posts

Clean--That's just it, he has to be able to pull his weight. I did not know about those side affects of the patch, but I have only used those after knee surgeries, so I am out of it anyway;)

I really appreciate everyone's help. Yes, 20 years and many deployments, and he was fine, but we know full well that things change. So he has to be prepared, and hopefully he won't need anything!

Posted by
1450 posts

I also recommend Seabamds and ginger chews.
I used to take dramamine but manage with out now.

Another side effect of the scopalamine patch is dry mouth

Posted by
135 posts

I have a whole 'sick kit' I travel with. Sea bands, dramamine, ginger chews and jordan almonds. For some reason the sugar in the almonds settles my tummy. OH, and if you can sing Hakuna Matata from the Lion King that helps too!

Posted by
2242 posts

Update. My husband spoke to his doctor and he now has the scope patches for his trip. I threw out all these ideas to him, and he is a minimalist, so only wants the ginger gum. So hopefully between those two, he will be set, and if not then oh well;) We both really appreciate all of the suggestions!

Posted by
32 posts

Glad you have this figured out. Didn't see this in the suggestions but in case anyone else searches this thread, we've used a Relief Band (Emetreme..spelling?) also sells one that is an electrical medial nerve stimulation. Wife used it for extreme morning sickness as well. FDA approved for nausea in chemo patients. I bring it up because we do know some people who get too sleepy to function on the meds but for whom the Sea Bands just aren't enough.

Posted by
2242 posts

My husband decided to skip on the bands since they interfere with his sailing gloves which are tight fitting.