How to prevent and cure motion sickness

Avoiding that queasy feeling

There is no cure for motion sickness once it strikes, but it can often be prevented. Dramamine and other over-the-counter drugs may help, but they also cause drowsiness. If you are prone to motion sickness, ask your doctor about scopolamine, a relatively new drug available by prescription.

One application, in the form of a skin patch taped behind the ear, lasts for about 72 hours. Scopolamine should not be given to children, pregnant women, the elderly, or those who suffer from liver disease, kidney disease, gastrointestinal obstructions, bladder problems, or glaucoma. Possible side effects are dry mouth, drowsiness, and blurred vision.

A surprisingly effective alternative to motion sickness drugs is powdered ginger, and it has no adverse side effects. Capsules are available from pharmaCists and health food stores. Take two or three 500-milligram capsules 1/2hour before you leave on a trip.

Preventive measures

If you suffer from motion sickness, don’t travel on an empty stomach; have a light, bland, easily digestible meal before you leave. Avoid alcohol before and during a journey. Don’t read in a car or bus; instead look at the horizon. Position yourself in the most stable areas of a vehicle: near the driver on a bus, forward on a plane or train, in the front seat of a car. Ventilation helps. Open a car window or turn on the air conditioner; stay on deck rather than in the cabin when you’re on a boat; use the overhead vent in a plane, train, or bus. If you feel the early symptoms -dizziness, quickened pulse and respiration, a general feeling of discomfort lie flat with your eyes closed, breathe deeply,and let your body flow with the motion.