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Meclizine (Meclozine; Antiemetic, Antihistamine)

Uses|Precautions & Warnings|Side Effects|Interactions|Dosage

Meclizine (also known as meclozine) is a drug used to relieve symptoms of vertigo and motion sickness, such a dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. It is also a type of antihistamine, which is chemically related to cetirizine and levocetirizine. Meclizine works by blocking histamine which prevents vasodepression (drop in blood pressure). It decreases excitability of the middle ear labyrinth and blocks conduction in the middle ear vestibular-cerebellar pathways, which are responsible for maintaining balance and spatial orientation. In short, meclizine prevents the body from feeling like it is off-balanced.

meclizine

Uses

What is meclizine used for?

It is used to treat or prevent nausea, vomiting, and dizziness caused by motion sickness. Meclizine is also used to treat symptoms of vertigo (dizziness or spinning sensation) caused by disease that affects your inner ear.

Meclizine may have other off-label uses, as prescribed by a physician.

How should I take meclizine?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

The chewable tablet must be chewed before you swallow it.

To prevent motion sickness, take meclizine about 1 hour before you travel or engage in activity that causes motion sickness. You may take meclizine once every 24 hours while you are traveling, to further prevent motion sickness.

To treat vertigo, you may need to take meclizine several times daily. Follow your doctor’s instructions.

This medication can affect the results of allergy skin tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using meclizine.

How do I store meclizine?

This product is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store it in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of meclizine that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush this product down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Additionally, it is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. If necessary, ask a pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & Warnings

What should I know before using meclizine?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if you are/have:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • An allergy to any of active or inactive ingredients
  • Any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions
  • Liver or kidney disease, asthma, glaucoma, an enlarged prostate, or urination problems

This medication may impair your reaction time or make you drowsy. Avoid operating a vehicle or heavy machinery while using meclizine or any antihistamine.

Drinking alcohol can increase these side effects of meclizine.

Cold or allergy medicine, sedatives, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression or anxiety can add to sleepiness caused by meclizine.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using meclizine during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking any medication. Meclizine is pregnancy risk category B, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A= No risk
  • B= No risk in some studies
  • C= There may be some risk
  • D= Positive evidence of risk
  • X= Contraindicated
  • N= Unknown

Side Effects

What side effects can occur from meclizine?

Common side effects may include:

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. Additionally, there may be other side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with meclizine?

Meclizine may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products that may interact with this drug are:

  • Cinacalcet
  • Quinidine
  • Terbinafine
  • Antidepressants (e.g. bupropion, duloxetine, fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline)

Does food or alcohol interact with meclizine?

Do not take this drug with alcohol, as it can cause CNS depression. Additionally, drowsiness will increase if they are taken together. Meclizine can safely be taken with or without food.

What health conditions may interact with meclizine?

This drug may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. That is why it is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know your complete medical history.

Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult your doctor or pharmacist before using meclizine.

What is the dose for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Vertigo

25 to 100 mg orally per day in divided doses

Dosing dependent upon clinical response.

Use: Management of vertigo associated with diseases affecting the vestibular system.

Usual Adult Dose for Motion Sickness

Initial Dose: 25 to 50 mg orally 1 hour before travel

Maintenance Dose: Repeat dose every 24 hours if needed

Use: Management of nausea, vomiting, and dizziness associated with motion sickness.

What is the dose for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Vertigo

Age 12 years and older:

25 to 100 mg orally per day in divided doses

Dosing dependent upon clinical response.

Use: Management of vertigo associated with diseases affecting the vestibular system.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Motion Sickness

Age 12 years and older:

Initial Dose: 25 to 50 mg orally 1 hour before travel

Maintenance Dose: Repeat dose every 24 hours if needed

Use: Management of nausea, vomiting, and dizziness associated with motion sickness.

How is meclizine available?

This product is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Oral tablet 25 mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Product Monograph Bonamine https://pdf.hres.ca/dpd_pm/00013453.PDF Accessed May 26, 2021

Meclizine, Buclizine, And Cyclizine (Oral Route, Parenteral Route) https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/meclizine-buclizine-and-cyclizine-oral-route-parenteral-route/proper-use/drg-20069630 Accessed May 26, 2021

Meclizine https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Meclizine Accessed May 26, 2021

Bonamine https://www.mims.com/philippines/drug/info/bonamine Accessed May 26, 2021

Meclozine https://www.mims.com/philippines/drug/info/meclozine Accessed May 26, 2021

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Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated May 26