Antivert® is the brand name of the drug meclizine, manufactured and distributed by Pfizer. The medication is an antihistamine used to treat vertigo, nausea, dizziness, and motion sickness. It is also prescribed for people who have problems with balance or lightheadedness caused by inner ear problems or infections.
The medication is available in chewable and regular tablets and capsules in 12.5 mg, 25 mg, and 50 mg strengths. Antivert® can be taken once every 24 hours as needed or as often as a doctor recommends. Patients who suffer from motion sickness should take the drug one hour before traveling. Meclizine should not be given to children under 12, and pregnant and breastfeeding women should check with their doctors before taking the medication.
Common side effects of Antivert® include both dry mouth and drowsiness. Drowsiness is more likely in patients who also take muscle relaxers, sleeping pills, antidepressants, seizure medications, anxiety medications, narcotic pain relievers, or cold or allergy medications that contain antihistamines. Patients should read the labels of all over-the-counter medications to ensure they do not contain antihistamines and avoid taking other drugs that increase fatigue unless directed to take them by a doctor.
Allergic reactions to Antivert® are rare, but patients should seek emergency medical attention if they experience difficulty breathing, hives, swelling of the face or mouth, or a rash after taking the medication, since these can be signs of an allergic reaction. Other more serious side effects that require medical attention are blurred vision, seizures, and decreased or painful urination. Children may experience excitability instead of fatigue when taking meclizine or other antihistamines.
Patients with asthma, enlarged prostates, urination problems, or glaucoma may not be able to take Antivert® safely. It is important for patients to disclose all medications and previously diagnosed medical conditions to their doctors before taking the drug to avoid potentially dangerous interactions and side effects. Since meclizine can lead to drowsiness, it is best for people taking the drug to avoid driving or operating hazardous equipment until they know how they will react. Drowsiness and fatigue are often more pronounced in elderly patients.
It is important to take only the doctor recommended dose of Antivert®. Symptoms of an overdose include extreme drowsiness, seizures, loss of consciousness, and severe mood changes. Patients who suspect they or someone they know has overdosed on the drug should seek emergency medical help and contact their local poison control center.