Are You Susceptible to Motion Sickness? Come on Baby, Do the MOTION QUOTIENT - the Doctor-devised Questionnaire

May 23, 2002, 01:00 ET from Novartis Consumer Health, Inc.

    PARSIPPANY, N.J., May 23 /PRNewswire/ -- So, you want to be an astronaut,
 compete in a round-the-world yacht race or tour Europe by bus.  For some
 people only one thing stands in their way:  susceptibility to motion sickness.
     One of the world's leading experts in motion sickness, Dr. John Golding,
 Senior Lecturer of London's University of Westminster, says that almost all
 humans are susceptible to motion sickness, but some people are more prone to
 the condition that is caused by sensory conflict between the inner ear and
 eyes.  For example, when one reads in a car the eyes are fixed on the page and
 sense stability, but the body feels the motion of the car.  The mixed signals
 can cause the unpleasant side effects of motion sickness that may include
 sweating, drowsiness, queasiness, nausea and vomiting.
     "There are many professions and activities where susceptibility to motion
 sickness is a risk factor," said Golding, who has studied the effects of
 motion sickness on the Royal Air Force and the British Navy.  "In fact, Lord
 Horatio Nelson, one of the British Navy's most legendary commanders of the
 nineteenth century, who suffered terribly from seasickness all his life, was
 purported to have told many a sailor 'If you want to avoid motion sickness, go
 sit under a tree.'"
     Fortunately, times have changed since Nelson's day and if you're
 susceptible to motion sickness, you can prevent it.  Dr. Kenneth Dardick, a
 Connecticut-based national travel health expert, said, "One proven way to
 prevent motion sickness is with scopolamine, the active ingredient in a
 medicated patch called Transderm Scop(R).  It's a prescription medication, so
 if you are prone to motion sickness on land, sea, or air, talk to your
     Dardick reminds patients that Transderm Scop should not be used by
 children or by those with glaucoma, difficulty in urinating, or an allergy to
 scopolamine or other belladonna alkaloids.  In clinical studies of Transderm
 Scop, some side effects were noted, including dryness of the mouth (in
 two-thirds of users), drowsiness (reported incidence:  less than one in six),
 and blurred vision.  While using this product, patients should not drive,
 operate dangerous machinery or do other things that require alertness.
 Patients should avoid using alcohol.  Physicians should exercise special care
 when prescribing this product to the elderly.
     In addition to Transderm Scop, Dardick recommends other ways to prevent
 motion sickness.
      On Sea
       * Avoid heavy meals and alcohol
       * Keep busy; steer the boat if possible
       * Stay in the middle of the boat
       * Avoid staying below deck
       * Anticipate the motion of the boat
       * Keep your eyes on the horizon; do not read
      In Air
       * Sit in a window seat over the wing, where feelings of movement are
       * Do not read
       * Do not watch or talk to another traveler who is having motion sickness
      On the Road
       * Sit in the front seat
       * Look out the window
       * Stop every once in a while to get some fresh air
       * Try driving
       * Do not read
                            Take the Motion Quotient
     The Motion Quotient is a short self-assessment questionnaire devised by
 Dr. Golding to determine how likely you are to suffer from motion sickness.
 It requires you to recall both your childhood and adult experience with motion
 sickness.  Take a few moments to think about your answers so that you get the
 most accurate assessment.
     How often did you feel sick or nauseated in the transport or ride listed
 in the column labeled "Stimulant"?  Never (O); Rarely (1); Sometimes (2); or
 Frequently (3).  If you have never traveled on or experienced the type of
 transport or ride listed, write N/A for "Not Applicable."  Write only one
 corresponding number or N/A in each box in Column A -- Before Age 12 -- and
 Column B. - Last 10 Years.
            Stimulant              Column A         Column B         Column C
                                 Before Age 12    Last 10 Years     Total A + B
      Cars, Buses, Coaches
       or Trains
      Jetliners, Small Aircraft
       or Helicopters
      Ships, Ferries, Yachts
       or Small Boats
      Amusement rides such as
       swings, Big Dippers,
       Roundabouts or
        Roller Coasters
      Total ----------------------------------------------------->
                                                             (Double score for
                                                            four or more N/A's)
     Total your numbered scores in Columns A & B and add them together in
 Column C.  The minimum total score is zero and the maximum is 24.  If you
 wrote "N/A" four or more times, double your score.
                    Interpreting your Motion Quotient Score
     If you scored: 0-2: Congratulations! You are among those least susceptible
 to motion sickness (25% of the adult population).
     If you scored 3-8: You are among those with average susceptibility to
 motion sickness (50% of the adult population).
     If you scored 9-24: Hold on! You are among those with the greatest
 susceptibility to motion sickness and are the most likely to benefit from
 treatments that have been proven to reduce motion sickness symptoms.
     Some caution must be exercised in interpreting your score.  Although most
 people appear to be able to recall major events of motion sickness, any
 estimate is only as good as your memory of events.
     To learn more about motion sickness and how to prevent it, visit or call 1-888-726-7724.
     Transderm Scop is marketed and distributed by Novartis Consumer Health,
 Inc.  Headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, Novartis Consumer Health
 manufacturers, develops and markets a wide range of branded products the
 purpose of which is to restore, maintain or improve consumer health.  Key
 business includes OTC (over-the counter medicines), Health and Functional
 Nutrition, Baby and Infant Business, Vitamins/Minerals/Supplements and
 Ingredients and Medical Nutrition products.
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SOURCE Novartis Consumer Health, Inc.