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Travel sickness remedies

Does anyone have any advise about the best travel sickness remedies to give to asthmatic children? My daughter who is 6 is very travel sick and we were advised a long time ago to give her a small dose of phenergan which has always worked well but recently the pharmacists have been questioning me buying it. They say I should use another remedy but I am concerned about the effects on her asthma. Any advise would be great. Thanks.

2 Replies

Hi toppy, welcome to Asthma UK!

There are two main classes of antisickness drugs that are recommended for motion sickness, hyoscine and antihistamines. Both are reasonably effective, especially if given before the journey starts and the sickness kicks in, rather than after the symptoms develop.

Hyoscine is only available by prescription, and is usually given in the form of a patch. It's not usually recommended for children under the age of 10.

The antihistamines used tend to be the older, sedating ones (the newer ones that are less sedating are not as useful for nausea, as they don't cross the blood-brain barrier as well and therefore don't reach the nausea centre in the brain).

Phenergan is promethazine, which is fairly sedating. The other ones commonly used are cinnarizine (sold over the counter as Stugeron) and cyclizine (Valoid). There are no real contraindications to using these medications if you have asthma - many asthmatics are of course on antihistamines anyway for rhinitis or allergies. Sedative medication should generally be avoided during an acute asthma attack or in people with severe asthma, but shouldn't really be a problem with these sorts of medications.

Your pharmacist may be concerned if your daughter is already on a sedating antihistamine - obviously the potential for oversedation is greater if someone is taking more than one sedative medication. Other than that, I can't really say why your pharmacist is questioning this. If your pharmacist continues to express concern, it might be worth having a word with your GP to see if they can suggest the most appropriate travel sickness remedy, as they obviously know your daughter's history better.

Hope this helps

Em H



I have 5 children who have all suffered with travel sickness at one time or another. I used Phenergan, like you for awhile and then have moved on to Travel Sickness bands which most leading chemists stock. We found they worked brilliantly. They have allowed us to have uneventful car journeys to Cornwall and fly to Florida. Without them would have been chaos !! You just need to buy the appropriate size and make sure they are positioned properly on their wrists. Hope this helps.

Best Wishes

Cathy xxx


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