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Motion Sickness

Gina Henry, MD, Alexandra Jubran, DO, MPH and Cory N. Mitchell, MD Reviewed 06/2019
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Motion sickness is a physiologic response in affected individuals to a situation in which sensory conflict about body motion exists among visual receptors, vestibular receptors, and ...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

Presence of the following signs and symptoms in the context of a typical stimulus (1): 
  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Stomach awareness (feeling of fullness in epigastrium)

  • Diaphoresis

  • Facial and perior...

TREATMENT

  • Follow guidelines under “General Measures” section to prevent motion sickness (1)[C].

  • Premedicate before travel with antidopaminergic, anticholinergic, or antihistamine agents (1)[A]:

    • For exte...

ONGOING CARE

DIET

  • Eat before travel, avoid empty stomach; eat light, soft, bland, low-fat, and low-acid foods.

  • Avoid alcohol.

PROGNOSIS

  • Symptoms should resolve when motion exposure ends.

  • Resistance to moti...

REFERENCES

1
Brainard A, Gresham C. Prevention and treatment of motion sickness. Am Fam Physician.  2014;90(1):41–46. [View Abstract on OvidMedline]
2
Spinks AB, Wasiak J. Scopolamine (hyoscine) for...

ADDITIONAL READING

  • Bertolini G, Straumann D. Moving in a moving world: a review on vestibular motion sickness. Front Neurol.  2016;7:14. [View Abstract on OvidMedline]

  • Murdin L, Golding J, Bronste...

CODES

ICD10

T75.3XXA Motion sickness, initial encounter 

ICD9

994.6 Motion sickness 

SNOMED

  • 37031009 Motion sickness (disorder)

  • 17783003 Car sickness

  • 18530007 Sea sickness

  • 33902006 Air sickness

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • The scopolamine transdermal patch is first line for prevention of motion sickness. It should be applied at least 4 hours before travel, although it is most effective if placed 12 hours...

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