Dramamine is an over-the-counter medication that contains the active ingredient dimenhydrinate, a type of antihistamine. This medication can be used to alleviate or prevent stomach discomfort caused by motion activities, such as riding in a car or boat. Dramamine is typically administered orally as a tablet or chewable tablet. Patients should be aware of Dramamine precautions prior to taking this medication.
Patients who are allergic to dimenhydrinate should not take Dramamine due to an increased risk of developing a severe allergic reaction. An allergy to any of the components of Dramamine, including tartrazine or aspirin, precludes treatment with this medication. Patients who exhibit difficulty breathing, hives, facial swelling or lightheadedness after taking Dramamine should be evaluated by a doctor immediately. Without prompt medical intervention, allergic reaction symptoms caused by dimenhydrinate exposure can be fatal.
Pregnancy or Breast Feeding
Women who are pregnant or breast feeding should not take Dramamine unless otherwise indicated by a doctor, RxList warns. This medication may cause developmental complications in an infant or developing fetus.
Parents are cautioned not to give Dramamine to children younger than age 2, unless otherwise instructed by a physician. Children are more likely to experience severe side effects after taking Dramamine.
Concomitant Medication Use
Patients should talk with their doctor about any other medications they may be taking before using Dramamine, PubMed Health warns. Use of Dramamine in conjunction with other medications, such as aminoglycoside antibiotics or antidepressants, can exacerbate side effects or may alter the way in which this or other medications work within the body.
Before using Dramamine, patients should discuss their medical history with a physician. Certain forms of this medication may contain sugar, aspartame, phenylalanine or alcohol. These drug components can have negative effects on patients with specific preexisting medical conditions, such as phenylketonuria, diabetes, liver disease or alcohol dependence, RxList cautions.
Patients who have preexisting lung problems, such as asthma or emphysema, or glaucoma, an eye disease, should consult a doctor before using Dramamine.
Patients are cautioned to avoid using alcohol while taking Dramamine, PDRHealth reports. Use of alcohol in conjunction with this medication can increase a patient's risk of developing severe side effects.
Treatment with Dramamine can cause side effects in certain patients, especially children or older adults. Mild side effects can include drowsiness, dizziness, vision alterations, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, urination problems, heart rate irregularities or decreased appetite, Drugs.com warns. Children, in particular, may experience restlessness or difficulty sleeping after taking a dose of Dramamine. This medication may also increase a patient's sensitivity to sunlight. Patients should limit sun exposure while taking Dramamine and use sunscreen when venturing outdoors. A patient who develops breathing problems, severe fatigue or faintness should seek prompt medical care.