What is the difference between Dramamine and Meclizine?

What is the difference between Dramamine and Meclizine?

The difference between Dramamine and Meclizine is the different intensity of sedation they cause since they both are antihistamines and can be used for similar symptoms (1,2). 

Dramamine contains Dimenhydrinate as an active ingredient. It is considered more sedative than Meclizine because of its chemical composition. (1,2)

Dimenhydrinate consists of two active drug moieties bonded together – Diphenhydramine and 8-Chlorotheophylline. Diphenhydramine is sedative in nature and the presence of this drug moiety is the main reason why Dramamine causes more drowsiness than Meclizine. 

How to choose between Dramamine and Meclizine?

To choose between Dramamine and Meclizine, consider the specific symptoms you are experiencing. If you are primarily dealing with motion sickness or nausea related to travelling, Dramamine may be a suitable choice as it is specifically formulated for motion sickness relief (1).

On the other hand, if you are experiencing dizziness or vertigo, Meclizine may be more appropriate as it is commonly used to treat these symptoms (2). OTC Meclizine sometimes fails to manage symptoms effectively and some people may require prescription Meclizine, which is higher in concentration as compared to the OTC formulation.

If you are allergic to one of the medications, you can consider trying the other one with caution. 

However, it’s essential to exercise caution and consult with your healthcare provider before trying the alternative medication. Your doctor can evaluate your medical history and conduct allergy testing if necessary to determine if it’s safe for you to use the other medication as an alternative.

Comparison of side effect profiles of Dramamine and Meclizine

Dramamine and Meclizine have some differences in their side effect profiles. One of the main side effects of Dramamine is drowsiness, which can be significant and may impair your ability to perform certain tasks or operate machinery. 

Other common side effects of Dramamine include dry mouth, blurred vision, and difficulty urinating (3).

On the other hand, Meclizine is not associated with drowsiness but can cause side effects like dry mouth, headache, and blurred vision, but they are generally less pronounced than with Dramamine (4).

It’s essential to remember that individual responses to medications can vary, and not everyone may experience the same side effects. If you notice any unusual or severe side effects while taking either medication, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider for further guidance and possible alternatives.

Final words

To sum up, both Dramamine and Meclizine have some similarities and differences. The main difference between Dramamine and Meclizine lies in their sedative effects. 

Generally, both of these medications can be effective in treating motion sickness and nausea, but individuals may prefer one over the other based on their tolerance for drowsiness and other side effects. 

Always consult with a healthcare provider to determine the most suitable option based on your specific symptoms and medical history.

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LABEL: DRAMAMINE ORIGINAL FORMULA- dimenhydrinate tablet. DailyMed [Internet]. Available from: https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/getFile.cfm?setid=f9302a5a-295a-4501-9332-e3f5eb387362&type=pdf


LABEL: MECLIZINE HYDROCHLORIDE- meclizine tablet MECLIZINE HYDROCHLORIDE tablet. DailyMed [Internet]. Available from: https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/getFile.cfm?setid=666dc4d8-7b16-4c3c-84e4-645548dbee68&type=pdf


National Library of Medicine. Dimenhydrinate: MedlinePlus Drug Information [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a607046.html


National Library of Medicine. Meclizine: MedlinePlus Drug Information [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682548.html