What is Cyclizine used for?
What is cyclizine hydrochloride?
Cyclizine hydrochloride belongs to a group of medicines known as antihistamines. It is commonly prescribed to treat cases of nausea, vomiting and dizziness (vertigo). Cyclizine is what is known as a drowsy antihistamine, meaning it may make some people feel sleepy after they have taken it. However, this side effect does not affect everyone.
Cyclizine is considered to be a safe medicine and is suitable for most adults and children over the age of 6 years.
You can buy cyclizine 50mg tablets to treat nausea caused by a number of conditions which are detailed below.
What is cyclizine used for?
Cyclizine is prescribed to treat the causes and symptoms of nausea, vomiting and dizziness. Cyclizine is a popular anti-sickness medicine because it can also be used by pregnant women to treat the symptoms of morning sickness.
Furthermore, it can be taken for motion sickness, which you may experience while travelling by car, boat, train or plane.
Cyclizine for nausea and sickness
Cyclizine is an antihistamine which works by blocking the production of a chemical called histamine, which triggers the vomiting centre in the brain and makes you feel like you want to be sick.
After taking cyclizine, you should start to feel better within one or two hours. It will get to work after around 30 minutes and the effects will last for between four and six hours.
Cyclizine for morning sickness
Cyclizine can be taken by most women during pregnancy as a treatment for morning sickness. There is no evidence to show that cyclizine will cause any birth defects or other problems for either the mother or her child if taken during pregnancy.
Cyclizine may be prescribed by a doctor if other anti-sickness medications have not effectively relieved the symptoms of morning sickness. As with any medicine during pregnancy, you should speak to your doctor before you take cyclizine to relieve your nausea and/or vomiting.
You can find out more about taking cyclizine during pregnancy in our article on this topic.
Can cyclizine be used for anxiety?
Cyclizine is not prescribed for anxiety or any other mental health condition. It can, however, interact with certain medications used for these issues.
It is important that you tell your doctor before taking cyclizine if you are already using any other medication, especially any antidepressants classed as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). They should also know if you are taking any medication that causes drowsiness, dry mouth, or urinary problems.
When should and shouldn’t cyclizine be taken?
The NHS states cyclizine might not be suitable for you to take if any of the below apply to you:
- You have glaucoma
- You have ever had an allergic reaction to cyclizine or any other medicine
- You have any conditions that can cause bowel obstructions, such as diverticulitis, colon cancer or Crohn’s disease
- You have any liver problems
- You have any urinary or bladder problems
- You have porphyria
- You are intolerant to or cannot absorb certain sugars
- You have a phaeochromocytoma tumour
- You suffer from heart failure or high blood pressure
Children under 6 should not take cyclizine.
Cyclizine can also affect the results of allergy tests, so you may need to stop taking it a few days before if you are going to have an allergy test done.
You should not take cyclizine if you are taking certain other medicines. Always tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are already taking any other medication, including those that you can buy without a prescription, such as supplements or herbal remedies.
In particular, they should know if you are also taking:
- Any medicines that can cause drowsiness, dry mouth, or urinary problems
- Antidepressants classed as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
You should always tell your doctor if you are pregnant before taking any medicine. Extra caution and monitoring must be taken in those who are taking Cyclizine during pregnancy.
Cyclizine side effects
The most common side effects of cyclizine are:
- Blurred vision
- Dry mouth
These will affect more than 1 in 100 people who take cyclizine. Tell your doctor if any of these side effects occur in you and either become serious or do not go away after a few days.
You can find out more about the side effects of cyclizine in our guide on this topic.
How quickly does cyclizine work?
Cyclizine will get to work in around 30 minutes. You should start to feel better within one or two hours and the effects of the medicine will last for between four to six hours.
You can normally take cyclizine up to three times a day, as long as you leave a gap of at least eight hours between doses. This will mean that you can go the whole day without being bothered by nausea and/or vomiting.
Is cyclizine prescription-only?
You can buy cyclizine over the counter from pharmacies. In some cases, it may also be prescribed for you by a doctor. There are alternative over the counter anti-sickness medicines you may wish to try before speaking to your doctor.
Your doctor will prescribe cyclizine if they deem it necessary for your nausea and/or vomiting to be treated with a medication. They may try another medicine first.
In summary, cyclizine is primarily used in the treatment of nausea and vomiting. It is safe for most adults and children aged 6 years and older, and can also be used during pregnancy to treat morning sickness.
As with any medicine, we advise you to tell your doctor if you are already taking another medication, have any existing health problems or have any other questions.
Cyclizine will improve your symptoms after around one or two hours, and the dosage will normally allow you to take it more than once a day, allowing you to get on with your entire day free from symptoms.
Always read the patient information leaflet for complete information about this medicine before you start to take it. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions at all.