Cyclizine for sickness

Cyclizine helps to reduce sickness and dizziness.

It may be taken by adults and by children over 6 years of age.

The most common side-effects are a dry mouth and feeling drowsy.

About cyclizine

Type of medicine Antihistamine
Used for Sickness caused by balance or movement problems such as vertigo, travel sickness, and problems affecting the inner ear
Available as Tablets

Cyclizine is used to treat sickness, travel sickness, and problems affecting the inner ear and balance. It is an antihistamine.

Nerves situated inside your ear send messages to your brain with information about your movement. Along with messages from your eyes and muscles, these nerves help your body to maintain a good sense of balance. If the nerves in one of your ears send too many, too few, or wrong messages to your brain, it conflicts with the messages sent from your other ear, your eyes, or your body. Your brain then gets confused and this can cause dizziness and vertigo (a spinning sensation), and can make you feel sick.

Travel sickness is caused by repeated unusual movements during travelling. These repeated movements, such as going over bumps or around in a circle, send lots of messages to your brain. The balance mechanism in your ear sends different signals to those from your eyes, which results in your brain receiving mixed and confusing messages. This is what causes you to feel sick.

Cyclizine helps reduce the feelings of sickness and vertigo caused by problems such as these. It is available on prescription, or you can buy it at pharmacies, without a prescription. It can be taken by adults and by children over the age of 6 years.

Before taking cyclizine

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking cyclizine it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:

  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
  • If you have liver or heart problems.
  • If you have glaucoma (increased pressure in your eye).
  • If you have epilepsy.
  • If you have Parkinson's disease.
  • If you have prostate problems, or have been experiencing difficulty passing urine.
  • If you know you have a blockage in your small intestines.
  • If you have porphyria (a rare inherited blood disorder).
  • If you are 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.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.

How to take cyclizine

  • Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about cyclizine and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
  • Take cyclizine exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has told you to. It is usually taken three times daily.
  • If you are taking cyclizine to relieve travel sickness, take the first dose 1-2 hours before you are due to travel. If you are going on a long journey, you can then take further doses every eight hours if needed. If you are giving cyclizine to a child, check the label carefully to make sure you are giving the correct doses for the age of your child. Make sure you leave eight hours between each dose.

Getting the most from your treatment

  • Cyclizine may cause drowsiness and blurred vision. Although this is rare following a single dose of cyclizine, it may occur if it is taken more regularly. If this happens, do not drive or use tools or machines. Alcohol will make the drowsiness worse, so it is best not to drink alcohol while you are on cyclizine.
  • If you are having an operation or any treatment (particularly if it is to test for an allergy), tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking cyclizine.
  • If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with an antihistamine.

Can cyclizine cause problems?

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.

Possible cyclizine side-effects What can I do if I experience this?
Headache Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller
Feeling drowsy, blurred eyesight This is unlikely, but if it happens, do not drive or use tools or machines. Do not drink alcohol
Dry mouth Try chewing sugar-free sweets or gum
Constipation Try to eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water
Skin rash, difficulty passing urine, feeling restless Stop taking cyclizine and speak to your doctor about these

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

How to store cyclizine

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.