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Cyclizine is an antihistamine that prevents and treats motion sickness.

Pronunciation: SYE-kli-zeen

What are cyclizine’s uses?

Cyclizine is used in the prevention and treatment of nausea, vomiting or dizziness caused by motion sickness.

Its other benefit is the prevention and treatment of vertigo (loss of balance), nausea and vomiting caused by so-called labyrinthine disorders (diseases affecting the inner ear) like labyrinthitis and Meniere’s disease.

What dosage should you take?

A typical oral dose for nausea/vomiting is 50mg three times daily. As a suppository, the dose is 100mg three times daily.

For the prevention of motion sickness specifically, take 50mg orally 20 to 30 minutes before departure, and repeat four to six hourly if necessary.

However, first check the correct dosages with your Clicks pharmacist, including paediatric dosages.

What special precautions should you take?

  • Cyclizine should not be used by children younger than six years old.
  • The elderly should use it with caution.
  • Take care when driving, using machinery or performing tasks that require you to be alert, as cyclizine could impair functioning, particularly when you start treatment.
  • During pregnancy, it is best to consult your doctor about whether you can take cyclizine.
  • If you’re breastfeeding only use cyclizine if your doctor tells you it’s essential, as it does excrete into breast milk.
  • You should not drink alcohol if you’re taking cyclizine.

Cyclizine should be avoided if you suffer from any of the following:

  • Closed-angle glaucoma (an eye disorder that results in optic nerve damage)
  • Urinary retention 
  • Prostatic hypertrophy (an enlarged prostate)
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (one of the most common lung diseases)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Acute asthma or other breathing problems such as bronchitis

Cyclizine should be used with caution if you suffer from the following conditions:

  • Hyperthyroidism (over-active thyroid)
  • Heart disease
  • Chronic asthma
  • Porphyria (a group of rare genetic disorders that affect mainly the skin or nervous system)

What drug interactions could you experience?

As a rule, always inform your doctor or Clicks pharmacist what prescription and non-prescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements and herbal products you are taking or planning to take to ensure you don’t suffer the effects of adverse drug interactions.

What are cyclizine’s side effects?

Side effects of cyclizine could include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Weakness and loss of coordination
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation

This is not a complete list of side effects. It’s essential that you call your doctor should you notice any severe or odd side effects.

What are the overdose symptoms?

Call a doctor or an ambulance immediately if you experience any odd symptoms, including the following symptoms:

  • An allergic reaction like hives
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Confusion and agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Rapid heartbeats
  • Fever
  • Slowed breathing
  • Seizure (convulsions)
  • Uncontrollable movements of your lips, tongue, or face.
The accuracy of this information was checked and approved by Clicks' pharmacist Waheed Abdurahman in April 2015