Dramamine for Dogs

An anticholinergic and an antihistamine, Dramamine is highly effective in alleviating and controlling the symptoms of motion sickness and nausea. The active ingredient in Dramamine, known as Dimenhydrinate, helps deal with motion sickness symptoms in humans and can also be administered to dogs. Vets extensively prescribe Dramamine for managing headaches, nausea, vomiting, disorientation, excessive drooling, fatigue, and other symptoms related to motion sickness.

More often, vets recommend this antihistamine for dealing with 'vestibular balance disorder' in aged dogs.


Dramamine at a Glance

Brand Name

Dramamine, Dramanate, Gravol

Generic Name


Drug Type

Antihistamine/anticholinergic (active ingredient- Dimenhydrinate)

Is it FDA approved?



Humans, cats, and dogs


Both off-the-counter and via prescription

Available Forms

Liquid suspension, tablet



Is Dramamine Safe for Your Dog?

Though FDA has not allowed the use of Dramamine in pets, you can offer this medicine to your dog if and only if your vet prescribes it. Dramamine formulated for human use can also be administered to dogs suffering from vestibular dysfunction, motion sickness, and vertigo. However, make sure you strictly follow the recommendations and instructions stipulated by your pet while offering this anticholinergic and antihistamine.

There are certain conditions and circumstances under which you should not give Dramamine to your pet that has been discussed below.

Dramamine Pharmacokinetics in Dogs

The mechanism of action of this antihistamine and anticholinergic medication involves the binding of Dimenhydrinate with 8-chlorotheophylline. The chemical action of 8-chlorotheophylline is akin to caffeine, which neutralizes the disorientating effects of an overexcited vestibular system. The vestibular system in mammals (including dogs), when overexcited, releases certain neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine that transmit information from the middle- and inner ear to the brain.

Vomiting, drooling and feeling nauseated while travelling (in a car, bus or airplane) are manifestations of an agitated vestibular system. The chief function of Dramamine is to inhibit these neurotransmitters and prevent them from transmitting information to the mammalian brain.

The Amount of Dramamine Considered Safe for Dogs

Make sure you talk with your vet about your pet's medical history, any condition the animal is suffering from, and current medications you might be offering. The appropriate dosage will depend upon your dog's breed, age, size, weight, and the severity of the condition. You should exercise by offering Dramamine if your pet has health issues like glaucoma, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease or any gastrointestinal or respiratory condition.

The dose (both for liquid formulation and chewable tablets) will vary from 2mg/lb to 4mg/lb. This dosage should be administered every 8 hours. Vets recommend giving a dose at least half an hour before travelling. 

Possible Side Effects

The side effects that commonly occur following the administration of this medication include sleepiness, dry mouth, reduced appetite, and urinary retention. Your pet may also experience diarrhea or vomiting though these side effects are somewhat rare.

Symptoms of Dramamine Overdose or Toxicity

Some usual signs of toxicity resulting from overdose comprise epileptic fits, respiratory depression, heavy or difficult breathing, lethargy, swelling, and hives. If you notice any of these overdosing signs in your pet, contact your vet as early as possible or call Animal Poison Control Center Helpline (1-888-426-4435).

When Not to Administer Dramamine to Dogs?

 Your vet think twice before prescribing Dramamine to your pet under the following circumstances:-

  • Hypersensitivity to antihistamines or anticholinergic medications
  • The pet has a preexisting condition such as respiratory disease, urinary or gastrointestinal blockage, distended prostate, hypertension, heart disease, high thyroid levels, epilepsy or glaucoma
  • Neonatal pet
  • Going through a skin testing to detect the presence of pathogens
  • The pet is lactating or is pregnant
  • The pet is ancient

Drug Interactions

This antihistamine interacts with certain drugs such as tricyclic antidepressants, central nervous system depressants, and anticholinergic medicines. Let your vet know about any medications the pet is currently taking, including supplements and vitamins.


Disclaimer: The above content is based on multiple research articles referred to online. Global Dog Breeds intends to share information, but it's strictly advised to consult a veterinarian and seek advice before using any medications described. We believe each condition and dog is unique, and only after careful evaluation from a qualified professional should you be offering any medications to your pet.

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