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Cyclizine for sickness


Cyclizine helps to reduce sickness (nausea) and dizziness.

It can be taken by adults and by children over 6 years of age.

The most common side-effects are a dry mouth and feeling drowsy.

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About cyclizine

Type of medicine

An antihistamine

Used for

Feelings of sickness (nausea) caused by balance or movement problems such as vertigo, travel sickness, and problems affecting the inner ear

Available as

Tablets, injection

Cyclizine is used to treat sickness (nausea), such as that caused by problems affecting the inner ear and balance (including dizziness), and travel sickness. It is an antihistamine.

Cyclizine helps reduce the feelings of nausea and vertigo caused by problems such as these. It is available from a pharmacy, without a prescription, and can be taken by adults and by children over the age of 6 years.

Before taking cyclizine

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine can only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking cyclizine it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

  • If you have any problems with the way your liver works, or if you have heart failure.

  • If you have increased pressure in your eye, a condition called glaucoma.

  • If you have epilepsy.

  • If you have prostate problems, or have been experiencing difficulty passing urine.

  • If you know you have a blockage in your small intestines.

  • If you have a rare inherited blood disorder called porphyria.

  • If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.

  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.

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How to take cyclizine

  • Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about cyclizine, and it will also provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you could experience from taking it.

  • Take cyclizine exactly as your doctor or pharmacist tells you to. It can be taken up to three times a day.

  • If you are taking cyclizine to prevent travel sickness, take the first tablet 1-2 hours before you are due to travel. If you are going on a long journey, you can then take further doses every eight hours if needed. The tablets can be crushed to make them easier to swallow. If you are giving cyclizine to a child, check the label carefully to make sure you are giving the correct dose for the age of your child - the dose for children aged 6-12 years is half a tablet.

Getting the most from your treatment

  • Cyclizine can cause drowsiness and blurred vision. Although this is rare following a single dose of cyclizine, it can occur if it is taken more regularly. If this happens, do not drive and do not use tools or machines. Alcohol will make the drowsiness worse, so it is best not to drink alcohol while you are on cyclizine.

  • If you are having an operation or any treatment (particularly if it is to test for an allergy), please tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking cyclizine.

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Can cyclizine cause problems?

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the ones associated with cyclizine. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.

Common cyclizine side-effects

What can I do if I experience this?

Feeling drowsy, blurred vision

Do not drive and do not use tools or machines while affected. Do not drink alcohol

Other less common cyclizine side-effects

What can I do if I experience this?

Dry mouth

Try sucking sugar-free sweets or chewing sugar-free gum


Drink plenty of water and ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the headaches continue, let your doctor know


Try to eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water

Skin rash, difficulty passing urine, feeling restless or excited (particulary in children and the elderly), twitching

Stop taking cyclizine and speak with your doctor

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the tablets, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.

How to store cyclizine

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.

  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

Important information about all medicines

Important information about all medicines

Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital at once. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

If you buy any medicines 'over the counter', always check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with your other medicines.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Report side effects to a medicine or vaccine

If you experience side effects, you can report them online through the Yellow Card website.

Further reading and references

Article history

The information on this page is written and peer reviewed by qualified clinicians.

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