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What Are the Best Remedies for Seasickness?

Treating Cruise Traveler's Worst Fear


Seasickness is often easier to avoid than to cure. Most remedies need to be taken a couple of hours before your cruise ship sails. Different treatments work better for different people, and you may need to try a few to determine which is best for you. Remember to check with your doctor to make sure that any remedy does not conflict with medication you are currently taking--prescription or over-the-counter.

What Are the Best Medications for Seasickness?

Dramamine and Bonine are the most common seasickness drug remedies. These two drugs are available over-the-counter at most drug stores and pharmacies. They are essentially antihistamines, and make many people drowsy. Both Dramamine and Bonine come in non-drowsy formulas.

Scopolamine patches, worn behind the ear like a tiny band-aid, are the most common prescription drugs for seasickness. Scopolamine also comes in pill form. The patches last up to three days, provide time-release doses of the drug, and are usually very effective for preventing nausea.

What Are the Best Herbal Remedies for Seasickness?

Ginger is the most common herbal remedy for seasickness. Remember how your mom used to make you drink ginger ale when you were a sick child? Unfortunately, many ginger ales on the market today do not contain "real" ginger. Most people take ginger in capsules form, and they are available at health food stores. The side effects of ginger are less than those of drugs, but sometimes cause heartburn or an aftertaste. Although there is some evidence that ginger helps seasickness, it may not be as effective as a drug remedy.

What Are Some Other Remedies for Seasickness?

Wrist bands provide a type of acupressure for the relief of seasickness. There is a point about an inch and a half above your wrist on the underside of the arm where the wrist band applies pressure. Many people swear by the wrist bands and they sell in large numbers.

What Do I Do if None of the Remedies Work?

Once you get seasick, you might have to call in the ship's doctor. I once had to call the doctor to our cabin for my husband, who had never been seasick (even when I was). The doctor gave him a shot, which stopped the vomiting immediately. It also knocked him out for the rest of the day. After he awoke, he applied a scopolamine patch and wore it for the rest of the cruise, with no side effects. He has been on many cruises (including sailboats and freighters) and that's still the only time he's been seasick. The doctor said that each ship has a unique movement, and for some reason Ronnie's brain could not readily adjust to the motion on that particular ship.

In summary, seasickness can be a horrible malady, but there are ways to lessen its severity or prevent it altogether. Just don't let your fear of seasickness prevent you from taking a cruise!

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