Kwells is a medicine that is used to prevent and treat motion sickness (travel sickness). It can be taken by adults and children over 10 years of age. This medication is ideal for people who are prone to feeling sick when travelling on either long or short journeys.
What is Kwells?
Kwells is used to prevent motion sickness, often caused by travelling in a car or on a boat, aeroplane, bus or train. It can also occur due to constant repetitive movement, such as on a fairground ride. The active ingredient in Kwells is hyoscine hydrobromide, which is an antimuscarinic medication.
When is Kwells used?
Kwells is used to treat motion sickness, which is sometimes referred to as travel sickness. This is a common syndrome that can have the following symptoms:
- Feeling tired;
- Cold sweats;
- Turning pale or white.
If you suffer from motion sickness, you are likely to be able to predict it before it happens, so taking medication such as Kwells can help your symptoms. It is possible to have motion sickness as a child and then grow out of it as you get older.
To prevent the symptoms of motion sickness, it is recommended to take Kwells travel sickness tablets at least 30 minutes before the start of a journey. This will give the medicine time to work and therefore reduce the symptoms of motion sickness.
While there are also natural ways to help with motion sickness, particularly when travelling, some people prefer to take medication to help deal with the symptoms. The following methods to prevent motion sickness can be used when travelling, in conjunction with medication such as Kwells travel sickness tablets:
- Avoid reading;
- Look out of the window and focus on a point on the horizon;
- Avoid activities requiring concentration such as using a mobile phone, computer or tablet;
- Do not follow a satellite navigation system due to the movement on the screen;
- Do not look at moving objects such as waves or passing traffic;
- Wear sunglasses;
- On car journeys stop and take regular breaks. Get out of the car, walk around for exercise and to get some fresh air;
- Try to move with the motion of the vehicle (particularly boats) by keeping your body as relaxed as possible and not “fighting” the motion;
- Tilt your head back slightly to balance the ear’s stabilising mechanism;
- Drive if possible, as the driver does not usually suffer from motion sickness (however, do not take Kwells if you are going to drive as they can cause drowsiness);
- Consider where you sit and try and locate yourself in the most stable part of the vehicle, for example the front seat of a car (and open the window), over the wing of the aeroplane, facing forward on a boat, on as high a level as possible if there are several decks, and in the middle of the vessel, facing forward on trains and buses;
- Eat a light meal before you travel (although you may not want to for fear of being sick, you are less likely to feel ill if you do this as bland food can settle your stomach). Avoid spicy and greasy food;
- Do not drink alcohol or fizzy drinks before travelling;
- Listen to music to try to take your mind off the situation.
Some people experience worse motion sickness than others. Although how your body reacts depends on you as an individual, medication can assist in conjunction with some of the techniques mentioned above. Remember, you should not take this medication if you intend to drive as it can cause drowsiness.
You can also take Kwells if you start to feel travel sick, and they should take about 20-30 minutes to help you feel better. However, if you have already started to be sick, the medication will not be effective.
Motion sickness occurs when the inner ear sends messages to the brain that are different from those the eyes see. This conflict causes the body to react and trigger feelings of dizziness and nausea. Within the inner ear, there are three canals that contain fluid which are sensitive to the body’s movement. If this system in the ear tells the brain the body is moving but the eyes tell the brain it is not, the brain can become confused, which sets off the urge to vomit and feel unwell.
Kwells travel sickness tablets can prevent these messages from being sent from the inner ear to the brain, and can also stop the area of the brain that causes us to feel sick (the vomiting centre) from sending messages to the stomach that we feel sick.
How do you use Kwells?
Kwells to prevent motion sickness is available without a prescription in tablet form. It is taken orally and can be sucked, chewed, left to melt in the mouth or swallowed with a glass of water. This makes it easy to take for children over 10 years of age to take. You can take Kwells travel sickness tablets with or without food. They are absorbed into the bloodstream quickly and take effect within 30 minutes. The best way to prevent motion sickness from travelling is to take the prescribed dose of Kwells travel sickness tablets about 30 minutes before setting off on your journey. Do not give this medicine to children under 10 years of age.
What dosages are there?
The usual dosages of Kwells anti-motion sickness tablets are:
One tablet 30 minutes before travelling. Another Kwells travel sickness tablet can be taken every six hours (up to a maximum of three in 24 hours) if you are going on a long journey.
- Children over 10 years of age
Half to one Kwells travel sickness tablet 30 minutes before travelling. The same dose can be repeated every six hours (up to a maximum of three tablets in 24 hours) for long journeys. This medicine should not be given to children under 10 years of age.
Do not take more than the above doses, even if you have been sick after taking a Kwells tablet.
What are the side effects of Kwells?
As with all medicines, Kwells travel sickness tablets can have side effects. You may experience some of the following:
- Feeling dizzy;
- Dry mouth (to alleviate this you can suck boiled sweets, chew gum or eat citrus fruits);
- Difficulty urinating;
- Reduced sweating;
- Constipation (eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and drink plenty of fluids to treat this);
- Skin rash;
- Problems with the eyes such as blurred vision, dilated pupils or difficulty focussing.
If you suffer any of the above side effects and they do not disappear after a few days, you should see a doctor.
You may have more seizures if you are epileptic and take Kwells travel sickness tablets. Because Kwells travel sickness tablets can cause drowsiness and tiredness, it is important to monitor children and their activities if they take Kwells. They should not be allowed to do anything that may put them in danger due to being drowsy. If you are elderly you are more likely to experience side effects when taking Kwells travel sickness tablets.
When should you not use Kwells?
Using Kwells travel sickness tablets to treat motion sickness is not suitable for everyone. Do not use this medicine if you:
- Are allergic to any of the ingredients listed on the packaging;
- Have to drive;
- Have to operate machinery;
- Are under 10 years of age;
- Have glaucoma;
- Are a man with an enlarged prostate gland;
- Have abnormal muscle weakness (myasthenia gravis);
- Have problems with your stomach or intestines (for example, a blockage or obstruction);
- Have drunk or intend to drink alcohol.
It is not recommended to take Kwells travel sickness tablets if you are pregnant or breastfeeding unless advised to by a doctor. If you bang your head or suffer a head injury and feel or are sick, do not take Kwells – you should see a doctor as soon as possible, preferably at the accident and emergency department.
Before taking Kwells travel sickness tablets, it is important to tell your doctor if you have:
- Heart disease or high blood pressure;
- Liver or kidney problems;
- Ulcerative colitis;
You should also speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medication, including herbal medicines, before taking Kwells travel sickness tablets. People with Down’s syndrome should get a doctor’s advice before taking Kwells.
Does Kwells interact with other medications?
Kwells travel sickness tablets can interact with other medicines, so it is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist about any other medication you are taking before you take this medication.
Some medicines Kwells can interact with are:
- Opioid painkillers;
- Sleeping tablets;
- Antipsychotic medicines.
If you are taking any medicines in the above group, please inform your doctor or pharmacist before taking Kwells. Please note that these are not the only medicines that may interact with Kwells. You should not drink alcohol when taking this medicine.
Where can you buy Kwells?
You can buy Kwells travel sickness tablets over the counter at a pharmacy.
Can I get Kwells without a prescription?
Yes, you do not need a prescription to buy Kwells travel sickness tablets.
PATIENT INFORMATION LEAFLET Kwells® 300 microgram tablets Hyoscine Hydrobromide. October 2007. Retreived 17 December 2019 from https://s3-eu-west- 1.amazonaws.com/docomimg2.s3.amazonaws.com/leaflets/en/patient_information_leaflet-2581-kwells-uk.pdf- 1510756508.pdf
Motion sickness. 31 August 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2019 from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/motion-sickness/ Kwells (hyoscine hydrobromide). (N.D.). Retrieved 17 December 2019 from https://www.netdoctor.co.uk/medicines/digestion/a6973/kwells-hyoscine-hydrobromide/
Brainard, A., Gresham, C. July 2014. Prevention and Treatment of Motion Sickness. Retreived 18 December 2019 from https://www.aafp.org/afp/2014/0701/p41.html