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Gravol addiction is very common, mostly because it is cheap and easily available over the counter. It is considered to be one of the safest drugs but overuse of Gravol may cause many adverse side effects including hallucinations and memory loss. It is hence important to know the prescribed dosage to avoid developing a case of substance abuse.

What is Gravol?

Gravol (dimenhydrinate) is a drug that belongs to the group of antiemetics (stops nausea and vomiting). It is frequently prescribed for treating and preventing motion sickness, nausea and vomiting that may occur in or after the following cases:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Surgery
  • Vertigo
  • Meniere's Disease (a condition of the inner ear which causes extreme dizziness, loss of balance, ringing sensation in the ears, and loss of hearing)

How does Gravol Work? Mechanism of Action

Gravol affects the vomiting center of the brain, and thus relieves symptoms of nausea. In the case of vertigo, it provides relief by affecting the brain and labyrinths of the inner ear (involved in balance control).

What are the Side-effects of Gravol?

Short-term effects of taking Gravol as prescribed by your doctor may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dryness of the mouth
  • Blurring of vision
  • Feeling of anxiousness or nervousness
  • Reduced concentration
  • Affected physical movements
At smaller doses, these effects will be more prominent in children as compared to adults.

Can Gravol Be Addictive?

Yes, Gravol can be addictive

Some addicts use Gravol as a recreational drug. It never causes addiction if taken within normal ranges. However, it can cause one to develop extremely adverse side-effects if consumed at doses higher than those normally recommended.

Short-term side-effects include:

  • Visual or auditory hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Lethargy
  • Agitation
  • Loss of memory
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Difficulty talking
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Irrational behavior
  • Convulsions
  • Difficulty breathing
  • High fever

What are the long-term Effects of Gravol?

An overdose or addiction, if not treated promptly, may lead to certain chronic side-effects, such as:

  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Sociability issues

What are Gravol Withdrawal Symptoms?

Like other drugs, Gravol also has some withdrawal symptoms. Some common Gravol withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Weakness
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Irritability
  • Excitability
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite

How Can an Overdose be Treated?

There is no particular antidote to treat an over-dose. However, the following may be done:

  • Gastric lavage
  • For pulmonary and coma related symptoms, resuscitative measures should be used.
  • For symptoms related to heart rate and blood pressure, use dopamine or levarterenol bitartrate.
  • 1 to 2 mg of physostigmine salicylate administered intravenously may be used to cure delirium, hallucinations and agitation.

What Precautions should be Taken When Taking Gravol?

These factors must be considered along with the use of this medication:

  • Alcohol: Avoid consumption of alcohol since it may aggravate some of the side-effects.
  • Driving and Hazardous Chores: Since Gravol may cause dizziness and loss of muscular co-ordination, it is advisable not to perform such chores if you experience such symptoms.
  • Pregnancy: Gravol should be avoided in pregnancy. However, it is better to consult your doctor.
  • Breastfeeding: The medication may pass into the breast milk, and can thus affect the baby. Consult your doctor regarding the best course of action.
  • Children: Children under the age of one should not be prescribed Gravol.

Who Should Avoid Gravol?

Certain contraindications related with Gravol are:

  • Allergy to an active ingredient of the medicine
  • Allergy to dimenhydrinate
  • Chronic lung disease (chronic bronchitis, emphysema)
  • Enlarged prostate (prostatic hypertrophy)
  • Glaucoma

Your doctor will adjust the dosage according to your needs. Do not take Gravol for a long period of time without your doctor's consultation.

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