Motion-Sickness Medications for Aircrew: Impact On Psychomotor Performance

Comparaison de l’Effet de Médicaments Contre le Mal des Transports sur la Performance Psychomotrice des Membres d’Equipage d’Aéronef


  1. Paul, M.A.
  2. Gray, G.W.
  3. MacLellan, M.M.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
Introduction. The most popular drugs to prevent motion sickness have side effects that pose concern about their use in military personnel when they are conducting operations. Aircrew must perform to very exacting psychomotor performance standards and therefore have the most restrictions on use of operational medications. The Canadian Forces (CF) Medical Service is interested in determining which of the antihistamines currently used to prevent motion sickness has the least imposing side-effect profile in order to use it in aircrew for prophylaxis against air-sickness. The goal of this study is to quantify the depth and duration of impact on psychomotor performance for each of promethazine, meclizine, and dimenhydrinate. A secondary goal of the study is to determine to what extent the addition of pseudoephedrine to promethazine would improve the side effect profile of promethazine relative to d-amphetamine. Methods. Twenty-one subjects (11 males, 10 females) aged 22-59 were assessed for psychomotor performance on two test batteries (4 tasks) that included sleepiness and drug side-effects questionnaires. Psychomotor testing was conducted prior to, and for 8 hours after ingestion of a single dose of each of placebo, promethazine 25 mg, meclizine 50 mg, dimenhydrinate 50 mg, promethazine 25 mg plus pseudoephedrine 60 mg and promethazine plus d-amphetamine 10 mg. The experimental protocol was a double blind crossover with counter-balanced treatment order. Results. Relative to place

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meclizine;dimenhydrinate;promethazine;prevention of motion sickness in military aircrew
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-SL-2004-197 — Scientific Literature
Date of publication
01 Jun 2005
Number of Pages
Reprinted from
Aviat Space Environ Med, vol 76, no 6, 2005, 560-565
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