Scopolamine is used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by motion sickness.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Scopolamine comes as a patch to be placed on the skin behind your ear. Apply one patch to a clean, dry, hairless area behind the ear. The patch should be applied at least 4 hours before its effects will be needed. Each patch is good for 3 days. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use the scopolamine patch exactly as directed.
To apply the patch, follow the directions provided by the manufacturer and these steps:
- After washing the area behind the ear, wipe the area with a clean, dry tissue to ensure that the area is dry.
- Remove the patch from its protective pouch. To expose the adhesive surface of the patch, the clear plastic protective strip should be peeled off and discarded. Contact with the exposed adhesive layer should be avoided to prevent contamination of fingers with scopolamine. Temporary blurred vision and dilation of the pupils may result if scopolamine comes into contact with your eyes.
- Place the adhesive side against the skin.
- Press the patch firmly for 10-20 seconds. Be sure that the edges adhere to your skin.
- After you have placed the patch behind your ear, wash your hands thoroughly.
At the end of 3 days, or when the scopolamine patch is no longer needed, remove the patch and throw it away. Wrap the patch in tissue or paper to avoid exposing anyone else to the remaining medication. Wash your hands and the area behind your ear thoroughly to remove any traces of scopolamine from the area. If a new patch needs to be applied, place a fresh patch on the hairless area behind your other ear.
Before using scopolamine patches,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to scopolamine or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially medications that decrease mental alertness; cough, cold, and allergy products; and vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had glaucoma; heart, liver, or kidney disease; stomach or intestinal obstruction; or difficulty urinating.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using scopolamine patches, call your doctor immediately.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are using scopolamine patches.
- you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how scopolamine patches will affect you. This is especially important during the first 3-5 days of therapy and when your dose is increased.
- talk to your doctor about the safe use of alcohol while taking this drug. Alcohol increases the side effects caused by scopolamine patches.
Apply the missed patch as soon as you remember it. Do not apply more than one patch at a time.
Scopolamine patches may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- dry mouth
- blurred vision
- dilated pupils
- difficulty urinating
If you experience any of the following symptoms, remove the patch and call your doctor immediately:
- eye pain
- rapid pulse
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at Web Site] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory.
The patch is not affected by limited exposure to water during bathing or swimming.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
Last Reviewed: October 1, 2010.