Since there's no single
remedy that works for all, I always bring along an array of options when I'm the offshore
medic. In my experience, stugeron and oral meclizine seem to have similar effectiveness (moderate when used preventively, limited if the crew member
is already not feeling well) with minimal side effects. Most people can function quite normally with the base doses of either medication, but not all. Anyone taking a medication for the first time shouldn't be on watch alone or making judgments without oversight and they shouldn't be on deck
unless there is no safe alternative.
I've seen good results with the scopolamine patch used prophylactically, but it is more likely to impair judgment. We tried to have a double watch if someone had a patch on, but we were always able to have everyone off meds by 48 hours. It is better to adjust the dose by taking the patch off and then putting it back on rather than cutting it for the reasons mentioned earlier in the thread.
Compazine or promethazine suppositories are good to have available as a treatment for intractable vomiting and dehydration. Promethazine is theoretically more likely to be effective given the vestibular nature of motion sickness, but, to be honest, either seems to work. The crew member
is likely to feel better pretty quickly, but shouldn't be trusted on watch alone for several hours.
I've brought IV setups and saline but never used them. Flattened coke or ginger ale, gatorade or even home made rehydration fluid (1 tsp salt
, 1-2 tbsp sugar in 1 qt of water) will usually work if the vomiting can be stopped.
I haven't gotten seasick in 30 years, but I will never forget doing a delivery
up the California
coast around 1980 in a 35 ft Taiwan-built cutter
. We left Monterrey for SF after a heavy dinner with wine at dark
Typical summer winds and 8 -10 ft seas. Within two hours I had tossed the previous day's food
and, I still believe, everything down to my a'hole. I recall
the saying that the second worst thing that could happen was that I would die. The worst was that I wouldn't. Around 2AM I heard a conversation in the cockpit
that the wind
was up; the jib
needed to come in; the furler
was jammed and I was the only person they could think of to send up the mast
who would know what to do when he got there. After a few preparatory moans, needless to say, I figured out a way to control the jib
that didn't involve swinging from that f'ing mast
. Next day -- sunshine, a horizon and recovery, but I'll never forget how bad I felt that night.