Bonine vs. Dramamine: Which is Better for Motion Sickness?

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Do you suffer from motion sickness while you are trying to enjoy your vacation? One in three people suffers from motion sickness with women and children most at risk. Your brain can’t make sense of what is going on and you feel queasy, clammy, and sick to your stomach. 

So what can you do the help ease motion sickness during a cruise? If you are traveling to your favorite vacation hotspot this year, you may worry about motion sickness ruining your getaway.

Bonine and Dramamine are both common remedies for motion sickness on cruise ships, but which one is best? This will depend on a number of factors including age, health conditions, and personal preference. Read on for a detailed comparison and guide on Bonine vs. Dramamine.

What Is Motion Sickness?

Motion sickness is the sick feeling triggered by movement. This can occur when traveling in a plane, boat, or car to name a few. It is an imbalance between what your brain sees and feels.

Your body is standing still yet the vehicle you are in is moving forwards. This confusion between your brain and body is what causes you to feel sick. Other symptoms can include:

  • Cold Sweats
  • Headaches
  • Pale Skin
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting

The symptoms of motion sickness will cease when you stop moving. In rare cases, it can be caused by inner ear problems. Speak to your doctor if you have any concerns. 

Remedies for Seasickness

There are lots of remedies for seasickness ranging from natural to medicinal. Prevention is always the better option where possible. Some of the things you can do to prevent motion sickness include:

  • Looking at the horizon or a fixed object
  • Sitting in the front of the boat
  • Remedies such as ginger, peppermint, or acupressure

If natural remedies do not work for you and you cannot prevent your seasickness, then medication may be the only option for you. Medication is the most effective way to remedy motion sickness. 

If you are a first-time cruiser, you might get caught off guard when you suffer the effects of seasickness. The good news is that most travelers will get their “sea legs” and seasickness will subside. For passengers who continue to feel seasick, trying some of these remedies can help you enjoy your cruise.

What Is Bonine?

Bonine is a motion sickness pill that contains the active ingredient Meclizine hydrochloride. It contains an antihistamine that can treat nausea in association with motion sickness. Bonine has been the most popular choice for cruisers due to its minimal dosage.

The suggested dose is one pill taken an hour before travel commences. The pills are chewable but you can take them without chewing if you wish. It is also used for diseases that affect the inner ear.

What Is Dramamine?

Dramamine (also known as Dimenhydrinate) also contains an antihistamine used to treat or prevent nausea. It reduces the effects of the chemical histamine in the body. Taking Dramamine can treat or prevent feelings of seasickness.

To prevent seasickness, Dramamine should be taken half an hour to an hour before boarding. It is recommended to take 1-2 tablets every 4-6 hours after the first dose. You cannot take more than 8 tablets in a 24-hour window. 

Dramamine is available in an original motion sickness pill or a less drowsy chewable tablet. The chewable tablet can last up to 24 hours. Consuming alcohol and operating heavy machinery are not advised while taking either of these pills.

What Are the Side Effects?

Side effects are specific to the individual. Ask your pharmacist for more details if you have any concerns. Some common side effects for Bonine and Dramamine include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Dry Nose/Throat

It is unlikely that you will experience any side effects while taking Bonine or Dramamine. Dramamine is more likely to cause drowsiness as it is stronger than Bonine. If you are worried, speak to your doctor before taking any medication. 

Sea Motion Sickness
Photo Credit: Maridav / Shutterstock

Bonine vs. Dramamine

When you are packing for your vacation, you need to know which medication will be best for you. Both medications can treat and prevent motion sickness, but which one is best?

Although both medications are similar, it is worth looking at which medicine will work best for your needs. 

Dosage and Strength

Both Bonine and Dramamine can be taken as preventative measures for seasickness. You can take either up to one hour before boarding though Bonine only requires one dose in 24 hours. If you prefer to take a single dose rather than several doses then Bonine would be the best option for you.

Dramamine has been available since the 1940s and was the favorite remedy for motion sickness until many consumers found it made them feel drowsy. Dramamine’s original formula is a 50mg tablet of dimenhydrinate which can cause drowsiness. Dramamine is more effective than Bonine at treating seasickness but less convenient due to its frequent dosing.

Bonine vs. Dramamine
Photo Credit: mytrykau / Shutterstock

Many travelers who vacation on cruise lines take both types of medicine with them. If you like to be active during the daytime, using Dramamine at night and Bonine during the day may be the best option to avoid drowsiness. 

Which Is Better?

How do you choose between Bonine vs. Dramamine? Both medicines have their advantages and disadvantages but choosing which one you should take will come down to your individual needs. Both pills are available in a sweet, chewable form which you may find easier to take in comparison to an ordinary pill.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you love boat travel but suffer from seasickness then you may have lots of questions on how to prevent seasickness in the first place. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Bonine vs. Dramamine.

What Is the Difference in Price?

There is not much difference in cost. Bonine works out less expensive than Dramamine but this is because the dosage is less per day. If you are lactose intolerant or plan to consume alcohol then you should stick to natural remedies only. 

Who Can Use Bonine and Dramamine?

Bonine is recommended for anyone aged 12 and above. Dramamine can be taken by children as young as two years old. People with a history of health conditions such as thyroid dysfunction and cardiovascular disease should proceed with caution and speak to a doctor before taking either of the medicines. 

It is uncommon for children under the age of 9 to experience motion sickness. If you are unsure about whether you should use Bonine or Dramamine with your child you should speak to your pediatrician.

Always consult a doctor before taking any medication. If you are pregnant, suffer from glaucoma, or any other health conditions you should seek a doctor’s advice before taking seasickness tablets. 

What Types of Ships Are Best for Avoiding Seasickness?

Most cruise liners are built for smooth sailing. When you are booking any type of boat travel you should choose the largest boat you can. A larger boat means more stability and less motion.

If you are planning on diving at your vacation hot spot then try to choose dive sites that are closer to shore. 

Preventing Motion Sickness 

If you anticipate that you will suffer from seasickness or motion sickness during your vacation, then there are some preventative measures you can take before you start to feel unwell. 

Also Read: Top 10 Tips to Prevent and Avoid Seasickness on a Cruise

Take Care of Your Body

Alcohol is not recommended alongside Bonine or Dramamine. It is also not advisable to dive if you have been under the influence of alcohol or new medication. Make sure you stay hydrated and avoid eating heavy meals. 

Eating a light meal an hour before you board will help prevent seasickness.

Use Natural Remedies

If you are unable to take the original versions of Bonine and Dramamine then there are more natural alternatives. Bonine ginger soft gels are a more natural alternative to the full strength formula. They use ginger root to treat the symptoms of seasickness. 

Dramamine non-drowsy also contains ginger root and is an alternative to their original or chewable options. Consuming ginger tea, ginger candies or ginger ale can help soothe your stomach if you start to feel unwell. 

Acupressure bands use pressure points to alleviate feelings of nausea. You can also obtain a prescription for a seasickness patch which reduces activity in the inner ear. The patch slowly releases the drug scopolamine which affects the central nervous system. 

Enjoy Your Cruise Without Seasickness

Now that you know the differences between Bonine vs. Dramamine you can make an informed choice as to which one is right for you. You should always try to take preventative measures where possible to ward of motion sickness. 

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