How long does Vertigo last?

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Somerset, PA
1 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
I went on my first cruise in April and loved it! The only problem I had was after coming home. I get very motion sickness so I took Dramamine daily along with all those pretty fancy drinks on the ship! To my surprise when I got home, I have been lightheaded and it won't let up. It is going on 2 months. I went to the doctor and he told me that I should not have mixed Dramamine with alcohol. He said it should go away. Well, it hasn't. I don't know what to do. I am looking for suggestions or answers! Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks so much!
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Fredericksburg, va. USA
83,816 Posts
Joined May 2001
Mine didn't last that long--only about a week or two. You need to see an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor--it's probably an ear thing at this point.
Orlando, FL
807 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Vertigo can last awhile, but it could be something else. Like the previous poster said, I would definitely see an ENT.
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14,642 Posts
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Originally posted by Daisy2
I went on my first cruise in April and loved it! The only problem I had was after coming home. I get very motion sickness so I took Dramamine daily along with all those pretty fancy drinks on the ship! To my surprise when I got home, I have been lightheaded and it won't let up. It is going on 2 months. I went to the doctor and he told me that I should not have mixed Dramamine with alcohol. He said it should go away. Well, it hasn't. I don't know what to do. I am looking for suggestions or answers! Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks so much!
Very, very strange. I don't know what mixing alcohol while taking dramamine would have to do with vertigo two months later. Your symptoms may be totally unrelated to the dramamine use and I don't think much of your doctor for not referring you to a neurologist! Highly advise you to make an appointment with one, because your symptoms are not normal.
658 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
I agree, I do not see where your symptons would have anything to do with what you took on the cruise. Find another doc - start with ENT specialist. Mostly don't stop until someone takes you seriously.
Little Rock, Arkansas
37,374 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
The mixing alcohol with the dramamine has nothing to do with it. And your symptoms are not uncommon (happened to me after my 2nd cruise). You need to do research on Mal deBarquement Syndrome.
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Newburgh N.Y.
7,852 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
I get what I call "Sea Legs" after a cruise for about a day. Hope it gets resolved soon!
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10,963 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Your symptoms have an actual name:


If you want to, try either Ginger for the nausea or Bonine for the dizziness. It is the opposite of being sea sick. If you are on any type of blood thinners, avoid taking Ginger pills until you consult with your PCP.
99 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Dramamine and alcohol will not stay in your system long enough to give these sorts of symptoms. S/he may be right about not mixing the two, but it does not explain prolonged symptoms. I have had several non-travel-related bouts of vertigo in my life. They have all come and gone without warning, but I have been inclined to think that it may be exacerbated by allergies and other ENT symptoms. I have had one bout that lasted for several weeks. It is really annoying!
14 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by Daisy2
To my surprise when I got home, I have been lightheaded and it won't let up. It is going on 2 months.
Why complain- I pay good money to feel like that

Seriously, my wife and I BOTH experienced that- but only for about a minute or two- after going up the elevator to our room at the Bellagio last week. Felt like we were on a cruise ship (that is next week though). Very disconcerting.

I agree with the others- two months is WAY too long. See an ENT.
2,310 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
I just got off a cruise Friday. By Friday night I was dizzy and nauseaous. I kept taking Bonine and it's much better. Only a little dizziness once in a while. Hope you'll feel better soon.
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Durham, NC
12,012 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Directions for Dramamine and Bonine both state to be cautious when using with alcohol. That's good advice for most meds.

"Meclizine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase some of the side effects of meclizine.

Cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression or anxiety can add to sleepiness caused by meclizine. Avoid taking these other medications at the same time you take meclizine."

I switched from Dramamine to meclazine (Bonine) AND ginger and continued for 2 days post cruise.

No sea sickness AT ALL on the past 2 cruises and no mal debarquement symptons, either.
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58 Posts
Joined May 2007
Just be glad you didn't catch an upper respiratory bug on the ship (or plane) like I did. I wasn't nauseous on the ship at all, but felt the dizziness on the second day. Back on land my body is, but the ears and brain certainly don't seem to agree! On top of the vertigo, my sinuses and ears are all stuffed up.

Wish I had found out about the possibility of this happening before the cruise LOL. I'll try some of the suggestions post-haste. I don't like reading that some experience it for weeks or months tho...
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58 Posts
Joined May 2007
An update to my last post. My rocking and dizziness lasted FIVE MONTHS. It wasn't fun. I'm not sure that I will go on another cruise for fear that the MdDS will come back and last longer....
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45 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Please go to an ENT. Our first cruise sets sail in 5 days (yay!), and I have Meniere's Disease. I feel the way you do on good days, and on bad days I have debilitating vertigo. I found out after I went diving, and thought I had an ear infection. Anything can set it off the first time, so go get checked out. Luckily, it is treatable through diet and meds.
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Carnival Legend 1/25/09 Western Caribbean
59 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Ok, now I am really worried, I have infrequent bouts of Vertigo (once a year at the most usually during allergy season), lasting a couple of days. Should i take something when on the ship as a preventive, or just chance it? I guess i was thinking about just chancing it, until I read this thread, now I wonder.
631 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
I very occasionally get bad bouts of vertigo - so bad that I can't stand, and even crawling is difficult. It's an inner ear problem, in my case it's benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, (BPPV) which is the most common form.

I've never had vertigo on a ship, even in storm force 10 winds with a 25' swell. However, I do, when the sea is forecast to be very rough, take Bonine (Meclizine Hydrochloride) to prevent nausea. Otherwise I don't take any drugs - except caffeine and alcohol!

59 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Thanks for responding, that is the same type of vertigo i get. Its awful!! First time I thought I was dying. So you take the bonine only when the seas are rough, do you take it at night?