Active Ingredients in Gravol

Written by marie walsh
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Active Ingredients in Gravol
Gravol is often taken to alleviate motion sickness in a car or boat. (boat image by Byron Moore from

Gravol is a common medication used to treat and prevent motion sickness, or nausea and vomiting caused by radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Gravol is also used to treat vertigo. Gravol is classified in a group of drugs known as antiemetics. According to the National Insititute on Drug Abuse, Gravol is one of the over-the-counter medications that can be abused because of its psychoactive effects. Some pharmacies keep Gravol behind the counter for this reason. There is just one active ingredient in Gravol--dimenhydrinate.

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Dimenhydrinate is the only active ingredient in Gravol. Dimenhydrinate contains antihistamine properties and affects the vomiting centre of the brain and should take about one hour to reduce vomiting and nausea. Dimenhydrinate is a crystalline white powder and is slightly soluble in water.


Gravol comes in caplet, capsule and tablet form as well as a liquid and suppository. Adults and children can take Gravol. Adults have the option of taking the 12-hour caplets, quick-dissolve chewable tablets, softgel capsules, filmkote tablets or suppositories. Children’s Gravol comes in quick dissolve tablets, suppositories and liquid form.

Side Effects and Contraindications

The side effects of Gravol can be mild, moderate or severe, and include allergic reactions and drowsiness. People should not use Gravol if they have chronic lung disease, enlarged prostates or glaucoma. Women who are lactating should also not use Gravol.

Drug Interactions

Gravol should not be taken with alcohol or monoamine oxidase inhibitors. The active ingredient, dimenhydrinate, can also enhance the effects of drugs that inhibit the central nervous system. Gravol may also have interactions with barbiturates, benzodiazepines, narcotics and tranquillisers. Speaking with a doctor or pharmacist is recommended before taking Gravol with any other medication.

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