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J Clin Pharmacol. 2000 Oct;40(10):1154-65.

Autogenic-feedback training exercise is superior to promethazine for control of motion sickness symptoms.

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Space Life Sciences Division, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California 94035, USA.


Motion sickness symptoms affect approximately 50% of the crew during space travel and are commonly treated with intramuscular injections of promethazine. The purpose of this paper is to compare the effectiveness of three treatments for motion sickness: intramuscular injections (i.m.) of promethazine, a physiological training method (autogenic-feedback training exercise [AFTE]), and a no-treatment control. An earlier study tested the effects of promethazine on cognitive and psychomotor performance and motion sickness tolerance in a rotating chair. For the present paper, motion sickness tolerance, symptom reports, and physiological responses of these subjects were compared to matched subjects selected from an existing database who received either AFTE or no treatment. Three groups of 11 men, between the ages of 33 and 40 years, were matched on the number of rotations tolerated during their initial rotating-chair motion sickness test. The motion sickness test procedures and the 7-day interval between tests were the same for all subjects. The drug group was tested under four treatment conditions: baseline (no injections), a 25 mg dose of promethazine, a 50 mg dose of promethazine, and a placebo of sterile saline. AFTE subjects were given four 30-minute AFTE sessions before their second, third, and fourth motion sickness tests (6 hours total). The no-treatment control subjects were only given the four rotating-chair tests. Motion sickness tolerance was significantly increased after 4 hours of AFTE when compared to either 25 mg (p < 0.00003) or 50 mg (p < 0.00001) of promethazine. The control and promethazine groups did not differ. AFTE subjects reported fewer or no symptoms at higher rotational velocities than subjects in the control or promethazine groups. The primary physiological effect of promethazine was an inhibition of skin conductance level. The AFTE group showed significantly less heart rate and skin conductance variability during motion sickness tests administered after training.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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