What is Meclizine?

Meclizine belongs to a group of drugs called as “antihistamines”. Meclizine is available in tablet forms in two strengths:

  • 12.5mg
  • 25mg

Uses of Meclizine

Meclizine is primarily used in the prevention and treatment of nausea, vomiting, and dizziness caused due to motion sickness. Meclizine can also be used for the treatment of vertigo (loss of balance due to a problem in the inner ear).

How does Meclizine work?

Meclizine is an antihistamine which works by blocking the release of a chemical messenger (histamine) which controls nausea, vomiting, and balance.

How to Take Meclizine?

  • The dosage and duration of Meclizine advised is based on your age, physical health, severity of the condition and initial response to therapy.
  • Meclizine is extensively absorbed after oral administration and food has no effect on its absorption thus it can be taken with or without food or as advised. For patients with gastric problems, it is better to take it after food.
  • For ideal results, it should always be taken at a fixed time preferably bed time as it can cause sedation.
  • The tablet should be swallowed as a whole without crushing, chewing or breaking it along with plenty of fluids.
  • If it is taken as over the counter product, check the label for directions before use.

Common Dosage for Meclizine?

  • Meclizine should be administered as advised. Do not take more than the recommended dose as it may increase the incidence of sedation at higher doses.
  • To prevent motion sickness, meclizine tablet should be taken 1 hour before the travel. Patients with vertigo may have to take multiple doses per day.
  • The recommended therapeutic dosage of Meclizine for motion sickness in adults is one tablet 25mg one hour before the journey.
  • Recommended dose of Meclizine for vertigo is 25-100mg per day in divided doses based on clinical response.
  • In patients suffering from kidney diseases, Meclizine should be administered with caution and with altered dose as advised.

When to Avoid Meclizine?

Meclizine should be avoided or used with caution in:

  • Patients with allergy to any of its components
  • Patients with severe kidney disease
  • Patients undergoing haemodialysis
  • Patients with glaucoma
  • Patients with enlarged prostate
  • Asthma patients

Side-effects of Meclizine?

In addition to its intended uses, it may cause few undesirable side effects as well. List of the most commonly observed side effects include:

  • Sleepiness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Dry mouth
  • Feeling sick
  • Abdominal pain
  • Feeling of weakness
  • Diarrhoea
  • Blurred vision
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Rash

In addition, it may cause some other allergic or unwanted effects. In such cases, seek medical attention immediately.

Effect on organs?

  • Meclizine may affect the central nervous system and can produce a variety of effects including dizziness, sleepiness, and fatigue.
  • Patients with severe hepatic (liver disease) and renal (kidney disease) involvement should use Meclizine with caution and under the supervision of a doctor.

Reported Allergic Reactions?

Report to your doctor if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Signs of allergic reaction include:

  • Rashes/itching of the skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Loss of consciousness

Drug Interactions to Be Careful About?

Meclizine can interact with other drugs, vitamin supplements, herbal products that you are taking. This can be harmful. It is always advised that you must inform the physician about all the drugs/over the counter products/vitamin supplements used before using Meclizine. All the possible drug interactions might not be listed here. Few important drug interactions are listed below:

  • Alcohol
  • Codeine
  • Baclofen
  • Diazepam
  • Clonazepam
  • Benadryl
  • Amitriptyline

Using these medicines along with Meclizine can influence the therapeutic effect of these medicines and also can increase the chances of side effects. Thus dose alteration or drug replacement might be needed when Meclizine is taken along with these drugs.

Shows Effects / Results In?

  • Meclizine starts showing its effects within a few hours after its administration and the effect lasts up to almost 6-8 hours.
  • However, even if symptoms disappear, therapy with Meclizine should always be continued until advised.


Is Meclizine addictive?

Meclizine is not addictive; however, self-medication and dependence on these medicines should be avoided.

Can I have Meclizine with alcohol?

Consumption of alcohol is not recommended with Meclizine therapy as it may increase the risk of adverse effects like dizziness, sedation and may act as a health hazard.

Any particular food item to be avoided?

No alteration in its action seen with any food product.

Can I have Meclizine when pregnant?

  • Meclizine should only be taken during pregnancy if the benefits outweigh the potential risks as there are no evident and well-controlled studies in pregnant females.
  • Consult your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant for case specific recommendations.

Can I have Meclizine when feeding a baby?

  • It is not known whether Meclizine is excreted in human breast milk or not, therefore, it is not recommended for use while you are breastfeeding.
  • Consult your doctor for case specific recommendations if you are breastfeeding.

Can I drive after taking Meclizine?

  • Meclizine intake is associated with a majority of CNS side effects like dizziness, sedation, decreased alertness.
  • Therefore it may not be advisable to drive a vehicle and operate heavy machinery while on this medication.

What happens if I overdose on Meclizine?

  • Over dosage has been reported with Meclizine.
  • Symptoms of overdosage include drowsiness in adults and initial restlessness followed by drowsiness in children.
  • If anyone is suspected of an over-dosage, seek medical care immediately.

What happens if I take expired Meclizine?

  • A single dose of expired Meclizine may not cause any major adverse effect. However, the potency of the medicine may well have decreased over time.
  • Please inform your physician regarding the same if expired medicines have been taken chronically for a longer duration.

What happens if I miss a dose of Meclizine?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. Do not take double the dose to make up for the skipped dose.

Storage of Meclizine

  • Store at a cool and dry place away from direct heat and moisture.
  • Do not freeze the medicine.
  • Keep medicines away from children and pets.

Pro Tips When Taking Meclizine

  • It is best to take Meclizine in the evening or at night to prevent sleepiness throughout the day which is a common side effect.
  • Meclizine should be used with caution in patients with glaucoma, enlarged prostate and asthma due to its potential anticholinergic action.

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