Cyclizine: Therapeutic indication, contraindications and use

Cyclizine: Therapeutic indication, contraindications and use

A histamine H1 antagonist given by mouth or parenterally for the control of postoperative and drug-induced vomiting and in motion sickness. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p935). You can take cyclizine to treat morning sickness, vertigo and travel sickness. It can also be taken to treat sickness caused by general anaesthetics after surgery, cancer treatment or other medicines, and some inner ear problems such as Ménière’s disease.

Therapeutic indications

Cyclizine Hydrochloride is indicated in adults and in children aged 6 years and over for the prevention and treatment of nausea and vomiting including:-

• Motion sickness.

• Nausea and vomiting caused by narcotic analgesics and by general anesthetics in the post-operative period.

• Vomiting associated with radiotherapy, especially for breast cancer since cyclizine does not elevate prolactin levels.

Cyclizine Hydrochloride may be of value in relieving vomiting and attacks of vertigo associated with Menière’s disease and other forms of vestibular disturbance.

Posology and method of administration

Posology To prevent motion sickness Cyclizine Hydrochloride should be taken about one to two hours before departure.

  • Elderly: There have been no specific studies of Cyclizine Hydrochloride in the elderly. Experience has indicated that normal adult dosage is appropriate.
  • Children less than 6 years of age: Cyclizine Hydrochloride tablets are not recommended for children less than 6 years of age.
  • Children 6 to 12 years of age: 25 mg orally, which may be repeated up to three times a day.
  • Children over 12 years of age: 50 mg orally, which may be repeated up to three times a day.
  • Adults: 50 mg orally, which may be repeated up to three times a day


Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients. Cyclizine is contraindicated in the presence of acute alcohol intoxication. The anti-emetic properties of cyclizine may increase the toxicity of alcohol.

Special warnings and precautions for use

As with other anticholinergic agents, Cyclizine Hydrochloride may precipitate incipient glaucoma and it should be used with caution and appropriate monitoring in patients with glaucoma, urinary retention, obstructive disease of the gastrointestinal tract, hepatic disease, phaeochromocytoma, hypertension, epilepsy and in males with possible prostatic hypertrophy.

Cyclizine should be used with caution in patients with severe heart failure or acute myocardial infarction. In such patients, cyclizine may cause a fall in cardiac output associated with increases in he art rate, mean arterial pressure and pulmonary wedge pressure.

Cyclizine should be avoided in porphyria. There have been reports of abuse of cyclizine, either oral or intravenous, for its euphoric or hallucinatory effects. The concomitant misuse of Cyclizine Hydrochloride with large amounts of alcohol is particularly dangerous, since the antiemetic effect of cyclizine may increase the toxicity of alcohol.

Cyclizine Hydrochloride contains lactose. Patients with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, the Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption should not take this medicine.


Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Your doctor may prescribe cyclizine for morning sickness when other treatments have not worked. There’s no evidence that cyclizine will harm your unborn baby, but for safety it’s best to take it for the shortest possible time.


Cyclizine is a piperazine-derivative antihistamine used as an antivertigo/antiemetic agent. Cyclizine is used in the prevention and treatment of nausea, vomiting, and dizziness associated with motion sickness. Additionally, it has been used in the management of vertigo in diseases affecting the vestibular apparatus. 

Although the mechanism by which cyclizine exerts its antiemetic and antivertigo effects has not been fully elucidated, its central anticholinergic properties are partially responsible. The drug depresses labyrinth excitability and vestibular stimulation, and it may affect the medullary chemoreceptor trigger zone. It also possesses anticholinergic, antihistaminic, central nervous system depressant, and local anesthetic effects.


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