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Scopolamine

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • Alkaloid, angel's trumpet, anisodamine, anisodine, Atropa belladonna, atropine, Barbidonna®, Barophen®, belladonna, belladonna drugs, Belladonnae folium, Belladonnae radix, Bellatal®, black henbane, bromhidrato de escopolamina (Spanish), burrachero (Spanish - Colombia), Buscopan®, corkwood tree, Datura inoxia, deadly nightshade, Donnagel®, Donnapectolin-PG®, Donnapine®, Donna-Sed®, Donnatal®, Donphen®, Duboisia myoporoides, Ficus septica Burm.f. (Moraceae), henbane, hydrobromide, hyoscine, hyoscine hydrobromide, hyoscyamine, Hyoscyamus, Hyoscyamus niger (henbane), Hyosophen®, ioscina bromidrato (Italian), Isopto® hyoscine, Kapectolin-PG®, Kinesed®, levo-duboisine, Malatal®, maldemar tablets, methylscopolamine, moonflower, Murocoll-2®, nightshade family, Polyalthia microtus Miq. (Annonaceae), Popowia odoardi Diels (Annonaceae), Scop®, Scopace®, scopace tablets, Scopine tropate®, scopolamine bromhydrate, scopolamine hydrobromide, scopolamine hydrobromidum, scopolamine ophthalmicops, Scopolia, Scopolia carniolica, scopolia root, Scopoliae, Spaslin®, Spasmolin®, Spasmophen®, Spasquid®, Susano®, Transderm Scop® Patch, Transderm-V®.
  • Selected combination products: Twilight Sleep (morphine and scopolamine). Some older formulations of Percodan® and some European brands of methadone injectable fluid contain scopolamine hydrobromide.

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Scopolamine (also called hyoscine) is one of the naturally occurring muscarinic receptor antagonists in belladonna plants such as henbane (Hyoscyamus niger) and deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna). Scopolamine is an anticholinergic alkaloid prescription drug that has many effects in the body, including decreasing the secretion of gastric fluids, preventing nausea, slowing digestive action of the stomach and intestines, and dilation of the pupils (1;2).
  • Transdermal scopolamine patches placed behind the ear, which deliver a relatively low dose at a constant rate over three days, provide a convenient delivery system with fewer side effects than oral or intravenous scopolamine. The most common adverse effects associated with scopolamine are dry mouth, dizziness, drowsiness, and blurred vision. A nasal formulation has been tested, and ophthalmic preparations are in use.
  • There is sufficient high-quality evidence to recommend scopolamine in the form of a transdermal patch as a prophylaxis against motion sickness. There is promising evidence supporting the use of scopolamine in the treatment of morphine-induced nausea, postoperative nausea and vomiting, and the control of excessive saliva production. There is evidence that scopolamine is not an effective treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
  • There is limited or conflicting evidence concerning the use of scopolamine to treat the following conditions: Alzheimer's disease, abdominal pain, ACE inhibitor-associated cough, addiction, airway obstruction, depression, biliary colic, bowel disorders, bronchial asthma, cardiac arrhythmia, chronic headache, chronic heart failure, cisplatin-induced emesis, death rattle, detrusor instability, hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), labor and delivery, myocardial infarction, pediatric otitis media, peptic ulcer disease, poisoning, postoperative pain, preoperative anxiety, prevention of dreams during anesthesia, renal colic, seizures, syncope, tardive dyskinesia, and vertigo. Additional high-quality clinical trials are necessary before prescription of scopolamine can be recommended for these indications.

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.