Taking Dramamine When Pregnant: Is It Safe?

Feeling sick during pregnancy can be miserable but very common. Morning sickness — more like “all day” sickness for some — causes nausea or vomiting in approximately 70% of pregnancies, especially during the first trimester. As a result, many women turn to medication to relieve their symptoms. Luckily, there are safe treatment options available, such as Dramamine.

Key takeaways:

Keep reading to learn more about taking Dramamine when pregnant, its safety, and other remedies for nausea and vomiting while pregnant.


What is Dramamine?

Dramamine is a medication used to help prevent symptoms of motion sickness, such as nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. Dramamine is an over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamine drug that contains the active ingredient dimenhydrinate. It’s approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in adults and children over two years old.

Dimenhydrinate is similar to diphenhydramine (Benadryl), an antihistamine commonly used to treat cold or allergy symptoms. Dimenhydrinate is also similar to doxylamine (Unisom). All of these antihistamines may cause drowsiness.

While the FDA hasn’t officially approved Dramamine to treat nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, healthcare providers commonly recommend it as a safe option for this purpose.

Is it safe to take Dramamine when pregnant?

About 50–90% of expecting mothers have nausea or vomiting at some point during their pregnancy. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, leading some mothers-to-be desperate for relief and searching for what medications are safe to take during pregnancy. Taking Dramamine when pregnant can help ease nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, also known as NVP or pregnancy sickness.

There are multiple types of Dramamine, all of which are generally considered safe to take during pregnancy:

  • “Original” Dramamine (dimenhydrinate chewable tablet). This formulation contains 50 milligrams (mg) of dimenhydrinate in each tablet.
  • Dramamine For Kids (dimenhydrinate chewable tablet). This formulation contains 25 mg of dimenhydrinate in each tablet.
  • Dramamine Less Drowsy (meclizine hydrochloride tablet). This formulation of Dramamine differs from the others; it does not contain dimenhydrinate. Instead, it contains 25 mg of meclizine as the active ingredient. Meclizine is also an antihistamine with anti-nausea effects. It tends to cause less drowsiness than dimenhydrinate. Meclizine has not been shown to cause harmful effects if taken during pregnancy.

Consult a pharmacist or healthcare provider to help you choose the medication option that’s right for you.

How does Dramamine work?

Dramamine is an antihistamine. Antihistamines work to prevent motion sickness by blocking certain histamine receptors in the part of the brain that triggers vomiting and reducing the sensitivity of the inner ear, which helps with balance.

When should I take Dramamine?

Since there are a few different types of Dramamine, the dosage differs with the product. Be sure to read the product label and follow the directions provided (unless your healthcare provider tells you to take a different dosage than the label instructions).

You can typically take 25–50 mg of Dramamine by mouth every four to six hours as needed for nausea, dizziness, and vomiting. You should not exceed the maximum dosage of 300 mg of dimenhydrinate per day.

Dramamine, like other antihistamines, can make you feel sleepy. Do not take Dramamine before driving, operating heavy machinery, or doing other activities that require mental alertness. You may notice drowsiness 1530 minutes after taking Dramamine, which may persist 48 hours after each dose.

What other nausea remedies are safe for pregnant women?

Besides Dramamine, there are other strategies to relieve NVP, such as:

  • Pyridoxine (vitamin B6). Pyridoxine, also known as vitamin B6, can be used to reduce nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. A 2012 study showed that pregnant women with more severe NVP had low levels of vitamin B6 in their bodies. When given supplements of vitamin B6, the women in this study experienced less nausea and vomiting.
  • Ginger. A 2018 study, among other studies, found that ginger can be effective for mild to moderate NVP. Expecting mothers can safely consider sipping on ginger tea or sucking on ginger candy to help ease nausea.
  • Alternative remedies. Some people find relief through acupressure (such as pressure-point bands) or acupuncture. In addition, some studies suggest that short-term hypnosis can reduce nausea and vomiting symptoms when added to standard anti-nausea treatments. By calming the nerves and easing anxiety, hypnosis can help some individuals better cope with NVP.

These options are available without a prescription and carry little to no risk, making them convenient and safe options to try. If nonprescription options don’t help, consider consulting a healthcare professional. They may suggest lifestyle changes, such as avoiding spicy foods and eating smaller, more frequent meals.

How do I know if morning sickness is severe?

Nausea and vomiting is not fun, but how do you know if your NVP symptoms are bad enough to see a healthcare professional? Talk to a care provider right away if you have:

  1. Vomiting several times throughout the day, especially if you see any blood in your vomit or if you cannot keep any food or drinks down for longer than 12 hours.
  2. Symptoms of dehydration (urinating less than usual, dark urine, dizziness).
  3. Pain or cramping in your abdomen or pelvis.
  4. Weight loss (more than 5 pounds or 2.3 kilograms).
  5. Fever or diarrhea.
  6. Feeling depressed or having thoughts of harming yourself due to the severity of your morning sickness.

A healthcare provider may suggest prescription medications to help alleviate nausea and vomiting if you have any of the symptoms above, especially if Dramamine and other OTC options aren’t helping. Common prescription medications include metoclopramide, promethazine, prochlorperazine, or haloperidol.

If you are experiencing severe nausea and frequent vomiting during pregnancy, it’s possible you may be suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). HG only affects 0.3–3% of pregnancies but can lead to serious consequences, including severe dehydration and hospitalization. If hospitalized, you may receive anti-nausea medications and fluids intravenously.

Taking Dramamine when pregnant can help reduce nausea and vomiting. Dramamine is safe for pregnancy and is available over the counter without a prescription. Taking Dramamine when pregnant is a good option for nausea and vomiting that is milder, but be sure to contact a healthcare provider if your nausea and vomiting becomes severe or if Dramamine isn’t working for you.




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