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July 21, 1962

Prevention of Airsickness with Meprobamate

Author Affiliations

Brooks Air Force Base, Tex.

JAMA. 1962;181(3):263-264. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050290085017c

WHILE the principal nervous pathways by which vestibular stimulation produces vomiting have been worked out, the mechanisms and sites of action of drugs effective in motion sickness are unknown. These drugs, without notable exception, are either belladonna alkaloids or antihistamines with central parasympatholytic properties. Despite the probable role of psychological factors in motion sickness, ataractic drugs tested under controlled conditions have been of little value. Since the tranquilizers tested thus far have all been of the autonomic type, we considered it of interest to examine meprobamate, a mild tranquilizer in wide use which is inactive at the autonomie level.

Methods Four hundred and forty-one unselected airmen, 17 to 20 years of age, with little or no flying experience, were tested in 16 flights in C-54 aircraft. Twelve to 32 volunteers, divided into 3 or 4 treatment groups, participated in each flight. Each group received either a lactose placebo (500 mg.),