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Antivert (meclizine) – Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Dosages


What Is Antivert?

Antivert (meclizine) is an orally administered medication used to manage symptoms of motion sickness and vertigo. Antivert is an antiemetic (a medicine used to prevent nausea) and is approved for use in people 12 and older.

Antivert belongs to a drug class called antihistamines. Antihistamines are a class of drugs often used to treat symptoms of allergies.

Antihistamines treat conditions caused by excessive histamine, a chemical created by the body’s immune system. In addition to allergies, antihistamines treat other conditions, such as stomach problems, colds, and anxiety.

Antivert, which contains the active ingredient meclizine, prevents nausea and vomiting due to motion sickness or vertigo by lowering the activity of the brain’s nausea control center.

Meclizine exists independently as a generic drug administered in the form of an oral tablet that is available over the counter (OTC).

However, this article will feature Antivert as a brand-name medication available via prescription as an oral tablet and a chewable tablet.

Drug Facts

Generic Name: Meclizine

Brand Name(s): Antivert

Drug Availability: Prescription (brand-name), OTC (generic form)

Administration Route: Oral

Therapeutic Classification: Antiemetic

Available Generically: Yes

Controlled Substance: N/A

Active Ingredient: Meclizine hydrochloride

Dosage Form(s): Oral tablet, chewable tablet

What Is Antivert Used For?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Antivert to treat nausea, vomiting, or dizziness associated with motion sickness. It is also used to treat vertigo.

For context, motion sickness happens when your brain senses movement by getting signals from your inner ears, eyes, muscles, and joints. When it receives signals that conflict, you can experience motion sickness.

Vertigo is a feeling of spinning dizziness. Vertigo is not a disease but rather a symptom of multiple conditions where the most common cause is an issue with your inner ear.

How to Take Antivert

If you are prescribed Antivert, read the medication label and information leaflet that comes with your prescription. Talk to your healthcare provider about how to take your medication. Then, use it exactly as prescribed.

For motion sickness, the maximum daily dose is 100 milligrams. However, the recommended dosage is 25 to 100 milligrams per day. You can take a 25-milligram dose every six hours if needed. 

Antivert is scored (split in order to obtain multiple, smaller doses). You may break it in half if your healthcare provider tells you to. Take in a divided dose or as directed with or without food. Take one hour before travel if used for motion sickness.

Thoroughly chew or crush the chewable pills before swallowing. However, swallow whole if taking the standard oral tablets.

Storage

Store Antivert at room temperature (about 68 to 77 degrees F) and away from light or moisture. Do not keep it in your bathroom.

Keep this drug away from your children and pets. Toss all expired and unused medications. Do not throw down the sink, toilet, or drain.

Ask your pharmacist about the best ways to dispose of your medicine. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

How Long Does Antivert Take to Work?

It takes about an hour for Antivert to begin working, and its effects last about eight to 24 hours.

What Are the Side Effects of Antivert?

This is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. A healthcare provider can advise you on side effects. If you experience other effects, contact your pharmacist or a healthcare provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at fda.gov/medwatch or 800-FDA-1088.

Common Side Effects

Common side effects of Antivert include:

Older adults may have more side effects with this drug, including confusion. Be careful when using meclizine. If at all possible, keep your usage to a minimum.

Do not drink alcohol while on meclizine to avoid excessive drowsiness and increased risk of central nervous system (CNS) depression.

Severe Side Effects

Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects may include symptoms of anaphylaxis, such as:

Allergic reactions are rare. However, get emergency medical help if you experience hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Report Side Effects

Antivert may cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your healthcare provider may send a report to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program or by phone (800-332-1088).

Dosage: How Much Antivert Should I Take?


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The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor’s orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):

    • For nausea, vomiting, and dizziness caused by motion sickness:

      • Adults—At first, 25 to 50 milligrams (mg) taken 1 hour before travel. You may take another dose once every 24 hours while traveling.
      • Children 12 years of age and older—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
      • Children younger than 12 years of age—Use is not recommended.
    • For vertigo:

      • Adults—25 to 100 milligrams (mg) per day, taken in divided doses.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Modifications

Potential users should note the following before starting Antivert:

Dosing adjustments: Antivert is available as a chewable tablet for people who find it difficult to swallow whole pills. The tablets can also be crushed or split in half if needed.

Pregnancy: While no drug-associated risks of major birth defects have been linked to Antivert use while pregnant, discuss with your healthcare provider if you plan to become or are currently pregnant before starting Antivert.

Breastfeeding: There are no data on the presence of meclizine in human milk, the effects on the breastfed infant, or the effects on milk production. However, the health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the parent’s need for Antivert and any potential negative reactions to the breastfed infant from Antivert.

Children: Antivert should not be given to children younger than 12.

Adults 65 and older: In general, dose selection for older adults should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater chance of decreased liver, kidney, or heart function.

Missed Dose

This medicine is usually used for a short time or as needed. Do not take more than your healthcare provider tells you to. 

If you routinely take meclizine, take the missed dose once you think of it. If it is too close to your next dose, skip the missed dose. Go back to your regular dosing frequency.

Do not take extra doses or double the amount to account for a missed dose.

Overdose: What Happens If I Take Too Much Antivert?

While generally safe and well-tolerated, the potential symptoms associated with potential overdose are drowsiness, seizure, hypotension (low blood pressure), and coma.

What Happens If I Overdose on Antivert?

If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on Antivert, call a healthcare provider or the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222).

If someone collapses or isn’t breathing after taking Antivert, call 911 immediately.

Precautions


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It is very important that your doctor check your or your child’s progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.

This medicine may cause some people to become drowsy or less alert than they are normally. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.

This medicine will add to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants (medicines that make you drowsy or less alert). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, other allergies, or colds, sedatives, tranquilizers, antidepressants, or sleeping medicine, prescription pain medicine or narcotics, medicine for seizures or barbiturates, muscle relaxants, or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Check with your medical doctor or dentist before taking any of the above while you or your child are using this medicine.

What Are Reasons I Shouldn’t Take Antivert?

Antivert is not appropriate for everyone.

Avoid the use of Antivert in older adults. Moreover, do not use it if allergic to meclizine or any part of its formulation.

Some antihistamines may contain phenylalanine, red dye, tartrazine, etc. These may cause severe reactions in certain people. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have phenylketonuria (PKU) or are allergic to aspirin.

What Other Medications Interact With Antivert?

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription, OTC medicines and vitamins or supplements.

Some medications worsen the side effects of Antivert, like its anticholinergic effects.

Avoid these medicines while on meclizine:

What Medications Are Similar?

Some medications like Antivert used to treat motion sickness or vertigo include:

You can get Dramamine and Benadryl OTC. On the other hand, Transderm-Scop is available as a patch with a prescription only. It is excellent for people who cannot swallow and lasts for 72 hours.

This list is a list of drugs also prescribed to manage symptoms of motion sickness and vertigo. It is not a list of medicines recommended to take with Antivert.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does Antivert treat?

    Antivert treats the symptoms of motion sickness and vertigo. These symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.

  • What are the common side effects of Antivert?

    Common side effects of Antivert include:

    • Headache
    • Fatigue
    • Vomiting
    • Dry mouth
    • Drowsiness
    • Loss of strength and energy

  • Where should I store Antivert?

    Store Antivert at room temperature (around 68 to 77 degrees F) in a dry place and away from light.

  • How long does it take Antivert to work?

    Antivert takes about an hour to begin working, and its effects last for about eight to 24 hours.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Antivert?

    Take the missed dose once you think of it. Skip the missed dose if it is too close to the next dose. Return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take extra doses or double the amount.

How Can I Stay Healthy While Taking Antivert?

Antivert is a safe and effective medicine when used correctly. 

Antivert is commonly used to treat vertigo and motion sickness symptoms.  While it may cause side effects like fatigue, dry mouth, or headache, these side effects tend to be mild.

Medical Disclaimer

Verywell Health’s drug information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare provider. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any new medication(s). IBM Watson Micromedex provides some of the drug content, as indicated on the page.



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