wikiHow to Cure Car Sickness

Three Methods:Trying Non-medical Remedies for Car SicknessChanging Your Position and Behaviour in the CarTaking Medical Treatments for Car Sickness

Car sickness can make you dread every long journey. Car sickness is a type of motion sickness that many people suffer from. It is especially prevalent in children between the ages of 2 and 12, pregnant women, and those suffering from migraines, vestibular disorders or psychosocial factors.[1] Motion sickness is caused when the brain receives conflicting messages. These are called "motion messages", which comes from the eyes and your inner ear. The inner ear says that you're spinning, twirling, and moving. Your eyes say that your body is stationary. The brain is confused and that's what makes us sick.[2]

Method 1
Trying Non-medical Remedies for Car Sickness

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    Try an accupressure wristband. Accupressure bands are worn around the wrists and apply pressure to a point between the two tendons on the inside of your wrist. This method is based on traditional Chinese medicine and has been reported as effective against motion sickness.[3]
    • These bands are easily available in drug stores and pharmacies.
    • Despite the anecdotal evidence, there is little scientific evidence which shows that they are an effective treatment.[4]
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    Settle the stomach with a light meal. A child can feel better if they eat a dry saltine cracker. An empty stomach is not best for avoiding motion sickness. Just eat a light meal before travelling. Small bland snacks are best for when you are on the road.[5]
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    Avoid fat and grease. Fatty and greasy foods will make it more likely that you will experience nausea. This is to be avoided when you are facing a long car ride. Avoid big heavy meals before and while travelling.[6]
    • Spicy food is also best avoided.
    • Drinking alcohol before travelling can also heighten nausea.
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    Try some ginger. Ginger products and supplements may help prevent the symptoms of motion sickness. There is little scientific evidence to prove its effectiveness, but ginger has long been used to treat nausea.[7]
    • You can take ginger tablets, or capsules.
    • You can try drinking ginger beer or ginger tea.
    • Before taking ginger supplements, check they won't affect any other medication you're taking.

Method 2
Changing Your Position and Behaviour in the Car

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    Sit still. There are a number of small thing you can do to help relieve car sickness. Try to stay still in your seat. Lean your head back against the seat to stop it moving around. You can use a pillow or a head rest if you have one. The more still you can keep your head the better.[8]
    • If you can sit in the front of the car, do it.
    • Avoid a seat that faces backwards.[9]
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    Fix your gaze. To try to cope with motion sickness it's good to fix your gaze on a stable object. Try just staring out of your window at the horizon, or even just closing your eyes for a while. Don't read or play games, as this will most likely make your symptoms worse.[10]
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    Open a window. Having a good flow of ventilation in the car may help to relieve the symptoms of car sickness. Keeping a window open will also help you to ensure the air remains free of particularly strong odours[11]
    • A supply of fresh air will also stop you getting too hot in the car.
    • Air on your face can be refreshing.
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    Make frequent stops. Plan enough time to stop and let everyone have a few minutes outside to walk around and get plenty of fresh air. Breaking up the journey for a few minutes to drink some cold water and take a brief walk can relieve the symptoms of car sickness[12]
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    Try to relax. When in the car it's important to try not to get too anxious. Stay calm and try not to think about being carsick. You are more likely to get carsick if you are thinking about it all the time.[13]
    • Distract yourself by listening to music.
    • If you can drift off to sleep, this is one sure-fire way to avoid car sickness.[14]

Method 3
Taking Medical Treatments for Car Sickness

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    Consider visiting your doctor. If you suffer from acute car sickness, there are some drugs that your doctor can prescribe for you. Go to see them and explain your symptoms. If you travel a lot, your doctor may encourage you to learn how to control your symptoms without medication.
    • Many drugs are available over the counter, so you can talk to your pharmacist before seeing your doctor.
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    Try anti-motion sickness tablets. There are a number of drugs available that counter motion sickness. These can have considerable side effects and shouldn't be taken by anybody who will be driving. Many of these are available over the counter. Your doctor or pharmacist might suggest:
    • Promethazine (Phenergan) comes in tablets that should be taken two hours before travelling, the effects of which will last 6-8 hours.
    • Cyclizine (Marezine) is not recommended for children younger than 6. It should be taken at least 30 minutes before travel.
    • Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) should be taken every 4 - 8 hours.
    • Meclizine (Bonine) is not recommended for children under 12, and should be taken an hour before travel.[15]
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    Try Scopolamine (Hyoscine) patches. These patches are commonly used to treat motion sickness. They are available over the counter from pharmacies and are best used for long journeys, for example at sea. You can apply a patch behind your ear and it will work for up to 72 hours before you need to replace it.[16]
    • Common side effects include drowsiness, blurred vision and dizziness.
    • These patches should be used with caution with children, the elderly, and those with epilepsy or a history of heart, liver or kidney problems.[17]
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    Try antihistamines. Some people find that taking normal antihistamines can help control nausea and vomiting. They are less effective than the more specialised drugs, but may result in fewer side effects. They should be taken an hour or two before your journey.[18]
    • Antihistamines can lead to drowsiness, but if you are a passenger on a long journey drowsiness could be a good thing.
    • Non-drowsy antihistamines don't appear to be effective.[19]


  • Remember different methods will work for different people, so be prepared to try a few out.


  • If your child frequently vomits keep a barf bag on their lap just in case.
  • Always talk to a doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication

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