Antivert is approved for treating vertigo and preventing and treating motion sickness. The drug is a type of antihistamine; it works by blocking certain receptors in the body. This medication is available with a prescription for treating vertigo and motion sickness and also without a prescription for treating motion sickness only. Healthcare providers may also occasionally recommend off-label uses for Antivert, such as for treating morning sickness.
- Treating vertigo (a spinning sensation)
- Preventing and treating motion sickness symptoms (such as nausea, vomiting, and dizziness).
In general, medications for motion sickness tend to work better if they are started before symptoms begin, although some relief will usually be felt even if the medication is started after symptoms develop. Antivert is different from many other oral motion sickness and vertigo medications in that it lasts longer and generally causes less drowsiness.
Although several non-prescription motion sickness medications (like Bonine® and Dramamine® Less Drowsy Formula) contain the same active ingredient as Antivert, only prescription Antivert is approved for both motion sickness and vertigo. Also, Antivert comes in more strengths than the non-prescription meclizine medications.
Antivert belongs to a class of drugs called antihistamines, meaning that it blocks histamine receptors. However, it probably works for motion sickness by blocking acetylcholine receptors (by its "anticholinergic" activity). Antivert is generally not used for its antihistamine effects (such as for treating allergies).