Q: "I am going on a cruise and am concerned about getting motion sick. My physician suggested the Trans Derm Patch. You put that on behind an ear and it is supposed to work for 3 days without drowsiness. What are the pros and cons of a Reliefband compared to the patch?"Thanks. Sara
Answer: Both products are widely used. Personally, my experience with the Trans Derm patch back in the 1980's was mixed as I was not motion sick but my vision was blurred somewhat. I had followed the instructions about carefully applying the patch. Later I used the Reliefband while riding the Ferris wheel, the carousel and several wilder amusement park rides with absolutely no motion sickness. I've also used it for flu nausea, headache nausea and to help with vertigo symptoms. All uses were successful.
This is from the manufacturer's website about the Trans Derm Patch:
Trans Derm Patch Information:
- A prescription is needed.
- Cost: currently $20 to $25 each.
- Applied to bare skin behind either ear. (Alternate if used for more than 3 days.)
- Not for children under 18 years old
- Not for people who have or have had glaucoma (increased pressure in the eyeball), have difficulty urinating, or an allergy to the active ingredient, scopolamine or other belladonna alkaloids.
- Side Effects: Dryness of the mouth: in about two thirds of the people. A less frequent side effect is drowsiness, which occurs in less than one sixth of the people. Temporary blurring of vision and dilation (widening) of the pupils may occur, especially if the drug is on your hands and comes in contact with the eyes. On infrequent occasions, disorientation, memory disturbances, dizziness, restlessness, hallucinations, confusion, difficulty urinating, skin rashes or redness, temporary changes in heart rate such as palpitations, dry itchy, or reddened whites of the eyes, and eye pain have been reported. If these effects do occur, remove the patch and call your doctor. Since drowsiness, disorientation, and confusion may occur with the use of scopolamine, be careful driving or operating any dangerous machinery, especially when you first start using the drug system.
- Effective for about 3 days.
- When using this product, do not use alcohol, drive, operate dangerous machinery, or do things requiring alertness.
- If you are elderly, your physician should exercise care in prescribing the Transderm Scōp® patch.
- Keep the patch dry, if possible, to prevent it from falling off. Limited contact with water, however, as in bathing or swimming, will not affect the system. In the unlikely event that the patch falls off, throw it away and put a new one behind the other ear.
- Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after handling the patch, so that any drug that might get on your hands will not come into contact with your eyes.
Relief Band EL with Replaceable Batteries Information:
- No prescription needed: FDA approved for over the counter use for nausea or motion sickness prevention.
- Worn on the underside of either wrist (or both wrists if desired). Applies periodic gentle nerve stimulation at one of 5 levels you choose.
- Tested on children age 12 or older. Can be used on younger children
- No side effects except for those with nickel allergies or allergies to latex (the band).
- Requires use of an inexpensive conductive gel. (Included)
- Uses two CR2025 lithium batteries which last about 120 hours on level 3 stimulation. Can be replaced.
- No restrictions on alcohol use, no drowsiness, no dizziness, etc.
- Use as prevention or to stop motion sickness. Positive results in about 99% of those using it within 15 to 20 minutes.
- No restrictions for the elderly
- Can be reused over and over: replace batteries when red light blinks.
- Splash resistant: not waterproof
- Adjustable to fit even the smallest wrists. Customers report using them on young children with great success. We've had customers report great success with motion sickness from vertigo and similar ailments.
- Wear on either wrist.
- Warranty: 30 days from date of purchase. (I have an original one from 1999 that still works!)
- Made in Malaysia
Thank you for your interesting question. Enjoy your trip. Do remember that if you choose to drink alcohol, operate a car, etc. we do recommend the Reliefband over the prescription product.