Dimenhydrinate is primarily used to treat nausea, vomiting, and dizziness caused by motion sickness. Dimenhydrinate has also been found to aid in the treatment of ear congestion.
Diphenhydramine is the primary constituent of dimenhydrinate and dictates the primary effect. The main difference relative to pure diphenhydramine is a lower potency due to being combined with 8-chlorotheophylline. By weight, dimenhydrinate is between 53% to 55.5% diphenhydramine.
8-Chlorotheophylline, a chlorinated derivative of theophylline, was added in order to counteract drowsiness. Theophylline is very closely related to caffeine and theobromine, mild central nervous systemstimulants. It was thought by scientists[who?] that by combining the antiemetic effects of diphenhydramine with a stimulant, the extreme drowsiness induced by the former could be mitigated somewhat by the latter. The sedation caused by diphenhydramine, however, is substantially stronger than the stimulation caused by 8-chlorotheophylline, so the overall effect is still mostly sedating.
Dimenhydrinate is marketed under many brand names: in the USA and Serbia as Dramamine, in Ukraine as Driminate, in India and Canada as Gravol, in Iceland as Gravamin, in Russia as Dramina, in South Africa and Germany as Vomex, in Australia and Austria as Vertirosan, in Brazil as Dramin, in Ecuador as Anautin, in Hungary as Daedalon, in Sweden as Amosyt, in Indonesia as Antimo, in Italy as Xamamina, in Peru as Gravicoll, in Poland as Aviomarin, in Portugal as Viabom, in Spain as Biodramina, in Thailand as ไดเมนนีน (Daimenin), and in Pakistan as Gravinate.