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Meclizine, Oral Tablet

Highlights for meclizine

  1. Meclizine is only available as a generic drug.
  2. The more common side effects of this drug include drowsiness, tiredness, headache, blurry vision, and dry mouth.
  3. Meclizine is used to treat nausea, vomiting, and dizziness due to motion sickness. It’s also used to treat vertigo (feeling like you or the room is spinning).
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Important warnings

Important warnings

  • Drowsiness warning: This drug may cause drowsiness. You shouldn’t drive, use machinery, or do other tasks that require alertness until you know how this drug affects you.
  • Alcohol use warning: The use of drinks that contain alcohol can make drowsiness caused by meclizine worse. You should limit or avoid drinking alcohol while you take this drug.

About

What is meclizine?

Meclizine oral tablet is a prescription drug that’s only available as a generic drug. It’s also available in an over-the-counter chewable tablet.

Why it's used

Meclizine is used to treat nausea, vomiting, and dizziness due to motion sickness. It’s also used to treat vertigo (feeling like you or the room is spinning).

Meclizine may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other drugs.

How it works

Meclizine belongs to a class of drugs called antihistamines. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions. Meclizine works in your brain. It works by blocking chemicals that control nausea, vomiting, and balance.

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Side effects

Meclizine side effects

Meclizine oral tablet may cause drowsiness. You shouldn’t drive, use machinery, or do other tasks that require alertness until you know how this drug affects you. It may also cause other side effects.

More common side effects

The more common side effects of meclizine can include:

  • drowsiness
  • tiredness
  • headache
  • blurry vision
  • dry mouth

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • serious allergic reactions, with symptoms such as:
    • trouble breathing
    • swelling of your throat or tongue

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.

Interactions

Meclizine may interact with other medications

Meclizine oral tablet can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Taking meclizine with certain medications raises your risk of side effects from these drugs. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Drugs that treat insomnia, such as zolpidem, zaleplon, eszopiclone, temazepam, triazolam, estazolam, flurazepam, suvorexant, and doxepin. Taking these drugs with meclizine can increase your risk of sedative effects. These include drowsiness, slowed breathing, and trouble thinking.
  • Drugs that treat psychotic disorders, such as haloperidol, fluphenazine, chlorpromazine, olanzapine, clozapine, quetiapine, and risperidone. Taking these drugs with meclizine can increase your risk of sedative effects. These include drowsiness, slowed breathing, and trouble thinking.
  • Drugs that treat anxiety, such as lorazepam, clonazepam, alprazolam, diazepam, chordiazepoxide, paroxetine, and hydroxyzine. Taking these drugs with meclizine can increase your risk of sedative effects. These include drowsiness, slowed breathing, and trouble thinking.
  • Drugs that treat allergies, such as clemastine, carbinoxamine, diphenhydramine, and hydroxyzine. Taking these drugs with meclizine can increase your risk of sedative effects. These include drowsiness, slowed breathing, and trouble thinking.
  • Drugs that treat muscle spasms, such as cyclobenzaprine, orphenadrine, baclofen, and methocarbamol. Taking these drugs with meclizine can increase your risk of sedative effects. These include drowsiness, slowed breathing, and trouble thinking.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

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Other warnings

Meclizine warnings

Meclizine oral tablet comes with several warnings

Allergy warnings

Meclizine can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • rash
  • hives

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

General warnings

If you’ve been taking this drug and it isn’t helping to control your symptoms of motion sickness or vertigo, call your doctor. Taking this drug for a long period of time can cause problems with the system in your body that controls balance. Call your doctor if you still have nausea, vomiting, or dizziness after you stop taking the drug.

Alcohol interactions

The use of drinks that contain alcohol can increase your risk of drowsiness from meclizine. If you drink alcohol, talk to your doctor.

Warnings for people with certain health conditions

For people with breathing problems: This drug can thicken the mucus in your lungs. This may make it harder for you to breathe. Talk with your doctor if you have breathing problems, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), before starting this drug.

For people with glaucoma: This drug may make your glaucoma symptoms worse. Speak with your doctor if you have glaucoma before starting this drug.

For people with an enlarged prostate: This drug can make it more difficult for you to urinate. If you have trouble urinating due to an enlarged prostate, ask your doctor about whether this drug is safe for you.

For people with liver problems: It isn’t known if this drug is safe or effective for people with liver problems. Having liver problems may keep your body from processing this drug properly. This puts you at risk of more side effects. If you have liver problems, talk to your doctor before taking this drug.

For people with kidney problems: It isn’t known if this drug is safe or effective for people with kidney problems. Having kidney problems may keep your body from clearing this drug properly. This puts you at risk of more side effects. If you have kidney problems, talk to your doctor before taking this drug.

Warnings for other groups

For pregnant women: Meclizine is a category B pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals hasn’t shown a risk to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There aren’t enough studies done in humans to show if the drug poses a risk to the fetus.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Animal studies don’t always predict the way humans would respond. Therefore, this drug should only be used in pregnancy if clearly needed.

For women who are breastfeeding: It isn’t known if meclizine passes into breast milk. If it does, it may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

For seniors: The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

For children: This medication hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 12 years.

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Dosage

How to take meclizine

This dosage information is for meclizine oral tablet. All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

Forms and strengths

Generic: meclizine

  • Form: Oral tablet
  • Strengths: 12.5 mg, 25 mg

Dosage for motion sickness

Adult dosage (ages 18-64 years):

  • Typical starting dosage: 25–50 mg taken 1 hour before you do the activity that causes you motion sickness. You may need to take another dose every 24 hours throughout your journey or travel.
  • Maximum dose: 100 mg per day.

Child dosage (ages 12–17 years):

  • Typical starting dosage: 25–50 mg taken 1 hour before you do the activity that causes you motion sickness. You may need to take another dose every 24 hours throughout your journey or travel.
  • Maximum dose: 100 mg per day.

Child dosage (ages 0–11 years):

It hasn’t been confirmed that meclizine is safe and effective for use in people younger than 12 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older):

The liver and kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects. Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Dosage for vertigo

Adult dosage (ages 18-64 years):

  • Typical dose: 25–100 mg per day, taken in divided doses.
  • Dose increases: Your doctor will decide the dose that’s right for you. They’ll increase your dose if needed depending on how you respond to and tolerate this drug.
  • Maximum dose: 100 mg per day.

Child dosage (ages 12–17 years):

  • Typical dose: 25–100 mg per day, taken in divided doses.
  • Dose increases: Your doctor will decide the dose that’s right for you. They’ll increase your dose if needed depending on how you respond to and tolerate this drug.
  • Maximum dose: 100 mg per day.

Child dosage (ages 0–11 years):

It hasn’t been confirmed that meclizine is safe and effective for use in people younger than 12 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older):

The liver and kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects. Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.

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Take as directed

Take as directed

Meclizine oral tablet is used for short-term or long-term treatment. You’ll only take it for motion sickness while you’re traveling, in order to prevent motion sickness. It comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug or don’t take it at all

  • For motion sickness: You won’t be able to prevent motion sickness. You’ll have nausea, vomiting, or dizziness.
  • For vertigo: Your dizziness or vertigo may not go away.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:

  • extreme drowsiness
  • sedation
  • seizures
  • hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there)
  • irregular heart rhythm
  • decreased breathing

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose

  • For motion sickness: Take this drug as prescribed, which is one hour before your scheduled activity or travel. You can then take it every 24 hours throughout your travel. If you miss a dose, take it when you remember. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.
  • For vertigo: Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

  • For motion sickness: Your symptoms of motion sickness should improve or go away. These include nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.
  • For vertigo: Your symptoms of dizziness or vertigo should improve.

Important considerations

Important considerations for taking meclizine

Keep these considerations in mind if your doctor prescribes meclizine oral tablet for you.

General

  • You can take meclizine with or without food.
  • You can cut or crush the tablet.

Storage

  • Store meclizine at room temperature. Keep it between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C).
  • Keep it away from light.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

Refills

A prescription for this medication is refillable. You shouldn’t need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication. You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.
  • To prevent motion sickness, take meclizine 1 hour before your activity or travel.
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Alternatives

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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