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Dimenhydrinate Withdrawal and Detox

Written by Thomas Christiansen

& Medically Reviewed by Dr. Deep Shukla, PhD, MS

Medically Reviewed

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Last Updated - 7/15/2020

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Updated 07/15/2020

Key Takeaways

  • It can be hard for doctors to treat withdrawal unless they know you have been taking Dramamine and how much you have been taking
  • Dramamine withdrawal can start anytime after you stop taking the drug and can last up to 10 days
  • The most common Dramamine withdrawal symptoms are mood-related
  • A safe and effective Dramamine detox can set you up for success staying sober

A well-managed Dramamine withdrawal can set you up for success in recovery. Learn how rehab can help people seeking to address a substance use disorder.

If you or a loved one struggle with dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) use and are trying to stop, it is important to know the signs of Dramamine withdrawal. Knowing how to manage withdrawal symptoms and choose a detox facility can be important to your long-term success with abstaining from Dramamine.

Dramamine Withdrawal Diagnosis

A diagnosis of Dramamine withdrawal can be hard for doctors to make unless they know you are taking Dramamine. Other drugs or conditions can mimic the effects of Dramamine withdrawal. Therefore, treatment may be delayed unless your doctors know exactly what medications are being used. Your medical team will be best able to help you if you confide in them about your Dramamine use, including how much you are taking.

Dramamine Withdrawal Symptoms

If you have been using Dramamine for a long time and suddenly stop, you may start to experience withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms are especially likely if you have been using high doses of the drug. Common Dramamine withdrawal symptoms are mostly mood-related and include:

  • Fatigue
  • Agitation, aggression and hostility
  • Clumsiness
  • Upset stomach
  • Hallucinations
  • Mental status changes

The onset can start any time after you stop taking Dramamine and can take up to two days to kick in. The severity of these symptoms can vary and does not necessarily have anything to do with dose. Patients who have gone through Dramamine withdrawal have often have their symptoms resolve within 7 to 10 days.

A slow dose decrease of Dramamine has been studied in some people. Doctors found that the withdrawal symptoms may be lessened when the drug is not quit cold turkey. In one case, doctors studied a person dependent on diphenhydramine, the active ingredient in Dramamine. The study showed that the main withdrawal symptoms were irritability and increased bowel movements when the dose was tapered.

Dimenhydrinate Detox for Dramamine Withdrawal

The first step in recovering from Dramamine use is to detox from the substance. During medical detox, Dramamine use is stopped while you are closely supervised by doctors and nurses. Because so much medical attention is required, detox often takes place in an inpatient facility. Detox alone does not prevent future Dramamine use. The main goal of detox is to safely control withdrawal symptoms. Because withdrawal symptoms are linked to continued drug use, a successful detox program can set you up for success in your goal of staying Dramamine-free.

What to Expect During Dimenhydrinate Detox

The main goal of detox is to safely manage withdrawal symptoms. Several factors can impact how severe these symptoms are, including:

  • How much Dramamine you use
  • If you use other drugs or alcohol alongside the Dramamine
  • How healthy you are
  • If you have any nutritional problems
  • If you are well-hydrated
  • If you have any mental health problems

A successful detox program will take all of these factors into account to help bring you through withdrawal.

Finding a Detox Center

Detox centers are widely available, each with different specialties and options. To support your long-term success, it is important to find one that meets your needs. Factors to consider include:

  • Setting: While some facilities focus on detox, some may have other services. For example, some have a mix of inpatient, residential or outpatient rehab. If you want to continue rehab with the same facility in which you are doing detox, you may want to take this into account.
  • Location: Detox and rehab centers are available across the country. While some people prefer to stay close to home and their loved ones, others may want a break from the place where they struggled with drug use. Additionally, some people may prefer the privacy of choosing a center in a place where they do not know anyone. Deciding to stay local or travel for rehab is, therefore, a personal decision.
  • Program length: Some detox programs may only last a certain length of time. Others may be more flexible, depending on your needs.
  • Specialty: Some programs specialize in detox for certain types of drugs. Finding a facility with staff who has expertise in the substance with which you struggle is a factor to consider.
  • Insurance: Different insurance plans may work with different facilities. Your coverage may depend on the facility you choose.

View Sources

Church & Dwight Canada Corporation. “Gravol Product Monograph.” January 25, 2016. Accessed August 9, 2019.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Medical Detoxification.” February 2016. Accessed August 9, 2019.

Craig David F, Mellor Clive S. “Dimenhydrinate Dependence and Withdrawal.” Canadian Medical Association Journal, 1990. Accessed August 9, 2019.

Sinha Rajita. “New Findings on Biological Factors Predicting Addiction Relapse Vulnerability.” Current Psychiatry Reports, October 2011. Accessed August 9, 2019.

World Health Organization. “Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Settings.” Published 2009. Accessed August 9, 2019.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition).” January 2018. Accessed August 9, 2019.