How to prevent Motion Sickness:
Overview of the Options

So what can you do to prevent or alleviate the symptoms of motion sickness?

Unfortunately, just as motion sickness affects everyone differently, there is no 'magic bullet', no one foolproof behavior, remedy or pill that will work for everyone. However, the good news is that there are lots of options - ranging from acupressure through ginger to prescription medications - that can alleviate motion sickness symptoms, and in many cases prevent them entirely.

It is very important to keep in mind that what works for someone else may not work for you, and vice versa. Take reviews of specific motion sickness treatments, remedies and medications with a pinch of salt: it's a fact that something that is 'a life saver' for one person may be 'totally useless' to another. Keep an open mind and be ready to try out a number of different approaches until you determine what works best for you.

The Motion Sickness
Prevention & Treatment Pyramid

The Motion Sickness Prevention and Treatment Pyramid

The options for treating motion sickness can be visualized as an inverted pyramid. The broad band at the top contains suggestions for things that are mostly to do with how you behave, and are therefore safe and side-effect free for pretty much everyone. It makes sense to try these suggestions first. If something there works for you, great!

However, if you need more help to combat motion sickness, then move down a band on the pyramid to acupressure, bands and bracelets (also completely safe), then on to experimenting with natural remedies (affordable and mostly side-effect free), before moving down another level to treatments that will take time and commitment and involve moderate to high cost. Finally, if nothing else has worked well for you, move on to medications (over-the-counter and prescription).

Somewhere in this process you'll find the way to prevent motion sickness that works best for you.

Bear in mind, the best solution for you may be a combination of things. Never mix medications (except on the express instruction of your doctor), however acupressure and herbal teas, for example, can normally be used in addition to whatever medication you are taking - do talk things through with your doctor first though.

I know some people hate to take any form of medication or drugs, and they will naturally start with the non-medical suggestions. However, it is definitely worth considering medication if nothing else is working for you.

On the other hand, others prefer to go straight for medication, rationalizing that they can't be bothered with working through the other options and just want to 'get it right' first time. However, motion sickness medications carry the risk of unpleasant side effects (some of them quite severe), so even if you're completely comfortable with using medication, please do consider giving the non-medical options a try first.

Plan ahead...

Keep in mind that most remedies and medications need to be taken in advance. The usual guideline is a couple of hours, but this varies (some people like to start taking ginger 48 hours or so before their trip). Obviously, with medications, and herbal remedies too, it is important to read the label carefully and stick to the correct dosage.

Read on about the various ways of preventing Motion Sickness:

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