From a queasy feeling to vomiting
It usually happens at sea or during a restless flight, often in the car or train, on the carousel or in the swing boat: First there is a sinking feeling in the stomach, then dizziness sets in, the head becomes tired and heavy. Nausea is added – sometimes to the point of vomiting. Only when solid ground can be felt again does the spook subside.
Balance is disturbed
What happens in the organism when you get motion sickness or seasickness? When our eyes can no longer control what is happening and, for example, cannot find a footing on the horizon, our sense of balance is thrown off balance. The signals from the balance organ in the inner ear finally stimulate the vomiting center in the brainstem. Doctors call this temporary discomfort motion sickness.
18 remedies against motion sickness in the test
No reason to despair: If you plan your trip well, you can take precautions. Medication can also counteract nausea. The drug experts at Stiftung Warentest evaluated 18 remedies for travel sick people, including tablets, suppositories, capsules, syrup and travel chewing gum for adults and children. You can find the ratings in our current test report – or in our comprehensive database of drugs under test.
Remedies against travel sickness in the test: the choice is yours
Interested in a quick overview of the best over-the-counter motion sickness remedies? Our test table lists drugs with different active ingredients. You will find out which remedies are suitable and what side effects you have to reckon with. After activation, you will receive the magazine article from test 06/21 for download.
You want to know more? Our Drugs in Test database offers in-depth information. As a flat-rate user or registered user, you can also read the Stiftung Warentest evaluations of more than 9,000 medicines for 132 diseases for EUR 4.90. Our experts explain which medications are best for certain symptoms, such as dizziness, vomiting and restlessness.
Our guide to medicines for children contains Stiftung Warentest reviews of 1,000 medicines for various illnesses, including travel sickness.
These remedies help against travel sickness
Two active ingredients are suitable for prevention
The experts judge two active ingredients to be suitable for adults and adolescents: diphenhydramine and scopolamine. They can stop nausea and vomiting.
Common side effect: tiredness
Diphenhydramine comes from the group of antihistamines commonly used to treat allergies. It is sufficient to take 50 milligrams half an hour before departure: This corresponds to one Emesan tablet. Like almost all remedies in the test, Emesan also makes you tired. Those affected should not drive a car or steer a boat after taking it.
Combined active ingredient for motion sickness with no extra benefit
Diphenhydramine is also available paired with 8-chlorotheophylline and is then called dimenhydrinate. In practice, however, the combination of the two active ingredients does not bring any advantage over diphenhydramine alone. From the point of view of our experts, agents with dimenhydrinate are only suitable to a limited extent.
For children, all the remedies are only suitable to a limited extent
Children between the ages of two and twelve often experience nausea when traveling. Parents should only give them medication when other measures are ineffective. Reason: None of the available active ingredients and agents are fully suitable for younger children. Children are more sensitive to the remedies. They can also get tired of it – and for a long time. For some, they also have the opposite effect: such as restlessness and excitement, side effects such as constipation or dry mouth.
1 000 medicines for children evaluated
The question also arises with other illnesses and complaints: Which medications are suitable for a child? Our book Medicines for Children provides comprehensive information on this. It includes peer-reviewed reviews of 1,000 medicines, including those for colds, cystitis, and ADHD.