Sea-sickness/Motion sickness and MS

A board to discuss the Multiple Sclerosis modifying drug Avonex

Sea-sickness/Motion sickness and MS

Postby Bewitched » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:03 am

Does anyone have any problems with sea-sickness and their MS? I have never really had a problem with that, but I know that I do get car-sick if I am in the back seat or trying to read. I also have balance problems and slight issues with vertigo (both symptoms of my MS). It has been quite some time since I have been out on a boat in the middle of the ocean. The last time I was out on one, I did not have any problems and I did not have MS. Now, I have MS and I am not sure if I'd likely get sea-sick. I am going out on a boat three miles off the coast of Hawaii to go into a shark cage and it is known that people have a tendency to get seasick on the boat. I'm wondering if I should take motion-sickness medication and if it would react with my Avonex.
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Re: Sea-sickness/Motion sickness and MS

Postby NHE » Wed Apr 01, 2009 2:36 pm

When I was younger, I had no problems with motion. I used to go to the local state fair in my early 20's and go on rides such as the zipper and deliberately try to get the car to flip over.

In contrast, a year or two after my diagnosis I discovered that I'm now much more motion sensitive. I was at the park with my niece and nephew and became quite nauseous just from going on the swings with them. This seemed to produce an almost instant pressure in my head and I had to immediately stop swinging. I believe that this motion sensitivity was due to the MS. In addition, I had some problems with car motion about three or four years before I was diagnosed. I was riding in the back seat of a minivan and the seat was loose and would shift about a half an inch to the side every time the van went around a corner. I had to change seats with someone so that I could sit in the front.

Now, several years later, I find that I'm a little less motion sensitive. While I can no longer read in a moving car, I can go on the swings with my niece and nephew for a few minutes and still be OK. I'm not sure what this means with respect to my MS but it's a change for the better nonetheless.

I would suggest that you consider taking the motion sickness pills on the day of your trip. I haven't read of any specific interactions between motion sickness pills and Avonex (or with MS) but it would probably be a good idea not to do both on the same day just in case. I don't know how Avonex affects you, but I certainly wouldn't want to be on a boat and then in a shark cage either the day of or the day after my shot.

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Postby Bewitched » Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:16 am

Thanks for the input NHE. I most certainly will not be taking Avonex the day of or the day before my shark adventure. I have this all figured out when we go to Hawaii. The day after I take my Avonex, I plan on having a restful do-nothing day because I am in pain! As a matter of fact, I will call my neuro and try to see if I can get some motion sickness medication.
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Postby patientx » Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:01 am

Most of the sea-sickness medicines are available over the counter. One that is popular is Antivert (meclizine), and it works pretty well, but the main side effect is drowsiness. A few years ago (pre-MS), I had a bout of vertigo for a few days. It was the weirdest thing, and the docs suggested it was benign positional vertigo, maybe brought on by a virus. (Of course, looking back, this may have been a first sign of MS). Anyway, they prescribed Antivert, and it worked pretty well. There's another over-the-counter med called Bonnie, that I think doesn't cause drowsiness. I'd check with your doc on any possible interactions with the Avonex.

Another (natural) remedy that I've read about is ginger. You can buy the root at some grocery stores, and suck on a piece, or make tea out of it. I think ginger pills are also available. Don't know how well the ginger works, though.
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Postby Bewitched » Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:48 pm

Thank you also Patientx:

I saw my neuro today and he prescribed for me the patch behind the ear. Hopefully this works. He also said that I don't really need any motion-sickness medication if I take the Xanax. I only have about 31 left at home. I said "O.K, then you will have to give me more!" Only kidding. Thanks for your input. I hope I will return with limbs intact from my shark adventure. I will tell you all about it.
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