Cyclizine

Easy-to-read medicine information about cyclizine – what it is, how to take cyclizine safely and possible side effects.

Type of medicine Also called
  • Is used to treat nausea (feeling sick) or vomiting (being sick)
  • Belongs to groups of medicines called antihistamines
  • Nausicalm®
  • Nauzene®

What is cyclizine?

  • Cyclizine is used for nausea (feeling sick) or vomiting (being sick), caused by motion sickness, vertigo or Meniere's disease. It can also be used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by other medications. 
  • It works by blocking certain chemicals (histamines) in the brain that cause nausea and vomiting.
  • Cyclizine is available as an injection or as tablets. In New Zealand, cyclizine tablets can be bought from a pharmacy without a prescription, after consultation with your pharmacist. 

Dose

  • The dose of cyclizine is 1 tablet (50 milligrams) up to 3 times a day.
  • When used for motion sickness, it should be taken at least 1 to 2 hours before departing. If you are going on a long journey, you can then take further doses every 8 hours if needed.

How to use cyclizine

  • Take cyclizine with a glass of water.
  • You can take it with or without food.
  • Limit drinking alcohol while you are are taking cyclizine. Alcohol can increase the risk of side effects such as drowsiness.
  • It is not harmful if you miss a dose of cyclizine. If you forget your dose, take it as soon as you remember that day. But, if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Do not take double the dose.    

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, cyclizine can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often side effects go away once your body gets used to the new medicine.

Drowsiness

Cyclizine can make some people feel drowsy, sleepy or tired. You can drive while taking cyclizine, but do not drive until you know how the medication affects you.

Dizziness 

Cyclizine can also make you feel dizzy and can cause blurred vision. If it affects you this way, do not drive or operate machinery. 

Other side effects

Side effects What should I do?
Dry mouth 
  • Experiencing a dry mouth is common when taking cyclizine
  • Try sucking on ice chips, or lollies or drink small sips of water
  • Read more about dry mouth
Constipation
  • Eat a high fibre diet which includes lot of fruit, vegetables, brown bread, bran-based breakfast cereals
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Talk to your doctor if you are in discomfort
  • Read more about constipation

Interactions

When certain medications are taken together, an unintended reaction may occur – this is known as an interaction. Cyclizine can interact with a number of important medications and herbal supplements so check with your doctor or pharmacist.

Learn more

The following links provide further information on cyclizine. Be aware that websites from other countries may contain information that differs from New Zealand recommendations.

Cyclizine Patient Info, UK

Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Last reviewed: 17 Oct 2016