Classification and external resources
ICD-10 T75.3
ICD-9 994.6

Seasickness is a form of motion sickness characterized by a feeling of nausea and, in extreme cases, vertigo, experienced after spending time on a craft on water.[1] It is typically brought on by the rocking motion of the craft. Some people are particularly vulnerable to the condition with minor stimulus, while others are relatively immune, or become immune through exposure.[1] It is hazardous for scuba divers[2] who, through dehydration following vomiting, are at increased risk of decompression illness.

Prevention and remedy

Over-the-counter medications such as Cinnarizine/Stugeron and prescription medications such as dimenhydrinate,[3] scopolamine[4] and promethazine[5] (as transdermal patches and tablets) are readily available. As these medications often have side effects, anyone involved in high-risk activities while at sea (such as SCUBA divers) must evaluate the risks versus the benefits.[6][7][8][9] Promethazine is especially known to cause drowsiness, which is often counteracted by ephedrine in a combination known as "the Coast Guard cocktail."[10]

Ginger capsules are also considered effective in preventing motion sickness.[11]

Those suffering from seasickness who are unaccustomed to the motion of a ship often find relief by:

  • keeping their mind occupied, for example taking the helm of a yacht can reduce sickness as the sufferer has something to concentrate on, and can also anticipate the movement of the vessel
  • taking anti-seasickness/nausea medication
  • keeping their eyes directed to the fixed shore or horizon, where possible
  • lying down on their backs and closing their eyes
  • drinking any substance that is likely to temporarily diminish their senses of sight and touch
  • using THC (see Medical cannabis) or opiates, which act through neural suppression, thus diminishing all of the senses, and directly reducing the feeling of nausea (unfortunately, judgment may also be influenced).
  • move into a position where fresh air is blowing on their face
  • sucking on crystallized ginger, sipping ginger tea or taking a capsule of ginger
  • moving to the boat's center of gravity to eliminate motion due to translation (but not pitch, roll and yaw): see SS Bessemer
  • avoiding getting too cold or too hot.

See also


  1. ^ a b Benson, Alan J. (2002). "Motion Sickness". In Kent B. Pandoff and Robert E. Burr. Medical Aspects of Harsh Environments. 2. Washington, D.C.: Borden Institute. pp. 1048–1083. ISBN 978-0-16-051184-4. Retrieved 29 June 2009. 
  2. ^ Norfleet WT, Peterson RE, Hamilton RW, Olstad CS (January 1992). "Susceptibility of divers in open water to motion sickness". Undersea Biomedical Research 19 (1): 41–7. PMID 1536062. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  3. ^ Weinstein SE, Stern RM (October 1997). "Comparison of marezine and dramamine in preventing symptoms of motion sickness". Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine 68 (10): 890–4. PMID 9327113. 
  4. ^ Spinks AB, Wasiak J, Villanueva EV, Bernath V (July 2007). Wasiak, Jason. ed. "Scopolamine (hyoscine) for preventing and treating motion sickness". Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 18 (3): CD002851. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD002851.pub3. PMID 17636710. 
  5. ^ "Phenergan information". Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  6. ^ Schwartz, Henry JC and Curley, Michael D (1986). "Transdermal Scopolamine in the Hyperbaric Environment". United States Navy Experimental Diving Unit Technical Report. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  7. ^ Bitterman N, Eilender E, Melamed Y (May 1991). "Hyperbaric oxygen and scopolamine". Undersea Biomedical Research 18 (3): 167–74. PMID 1853467. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  8. ^ Williams TH, Wilkinson AR, Davis FM, Frampton CM (March 1988). "Effects of transcutaneous scopolamine and depth on diver performance". Undersea Biomedical Research 15 (2): 89–98. PMID 3363755. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  9. ^ Arieli R, Shupak A, Shachal B, Shenedrey A, Ertracht O, Rashkovan G (1999). "Effect of the anti-motion-sickness medication cinnarizine on central nervous system oxygen toxicity". Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine 26 (2): 105–9. PMID 10372430. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  10. ^ East Carolina University Department of Diving & Water Safety. "Seasickness: Information and Treatment". 
  11. ^ Ernst E, Pittler MH (1 March 2000). "Efficacy of ginger for nausea and vomiting: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials". British Journal of Anaesthesia 84 (3): 367–71. PMID 10793599. 

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Seasickness — Sea sick ness, n. The peculiar sickness, characterized by nausea and prostration, which is caused by the pitching or rolling of a vessel. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • seasickness — [sē′sik΄nis] n. nausea, dizziness, etc. caused by the rolling and pitching of a ship or boat …   English World dictionary

  • seasickness — seasick ► ADJECTIVE ▪ suffering from nausea caused by the motion of a ship at sea. DERIVATIVES seasickness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • seasickness — noun Date: 1613 motion sickness experienced on the water …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • seasickness — /see sik nis/, n. nausea and dizziness, sometimes accompanied by vomiting, resulting from the rocking or swaying motion of a vessel in which one is traveling at sea. Cf. motion sickness. [1615 25; SEA + SICKNESS] * * * …   Universalium

  • seasickness — noun A feeling of nausea, dizziness etc caused by the motion of a ship; a form of motion sickness …   Wiktionary

  • seasickness — A form of motion sickness caused by the motion of a floating platform, such as a ship, boat, or raft. SYN: mal de mer, naupathia, vomitus marinus. * * * sea·sick·ness nəs n motion sickness experienced on the water called also …   Medical dictionary

  • seasickness — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) n. mal de mer, naupathia; nausea, queasiness, qualm. See disease. II (Roget s 3 Superthesaurus) n. motion sickness, queasiness. see nausea …   English dictionary for students

  • seasickness — n. motion sickness caused by the rocking motion of a boat at sea …   English contemporary dictionary

  • seasickness — sea·sick·ness …   English syllables

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