Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Dimenhydrinate, also known by the trade names Dramamine and Gravol, is a close chemical cousin to diphenhydramine HCl. The only differences are potency (50mg dimenhydrinate = 25mg diphenhydramine) and delay of action (dimenhydrinate must break down to diphenhydramine in the body before it is active, therefore diphenhydramine produces effects sooner). Diphenhydramine is found in most OTC sleep aids and allergy preparations, such as Benadryl. It is primarily a H1-antagonist, but also possesses an antimuscarinic effect. It is also used in some drugs to produce an antiemetic effect, however the development of the chemical Meclizine has overtaken it in antiemetic drugs due to the fact that Meclizine doesn't produce as much drowsiness .
Recreational drug users sometimes take more than the recommended dose of dimenhydrinate in order to attain an intense hallucinogenic and deleriant state. In order to induce this kind of state, a minimum of 10-12 dramamine pills are ingested. The mental effects are described by many as "dreaming while awake". Users may experience vivid visual and auditory hallucinations which, unlike those experienced with most psychedelics, cannot be readily distinguished from reality. Many users also report a feeling of extreme heaviness in the limbs or body and sensations of motion even when lying still. Disassociation may occur, and it is often common to witness and communicate with hallucinations of people that disappear when touched. Dots and lines also appear which can be visually followed about the user's environment. However, the adverse effects, which include blurred vision, weakness, twitching, drowsiness , confusion, temporary amnesia, next-day hangover, and insomnia, are usually too unpleasant for most people.
Dimenhydrinate is not known to be addictive and is rarely used with regularity even by aficionados. However, careless or excessive recreational use of anticholinergics can result in death or cardiac toxicity.
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