Scopolamine is used in the treatment of various conditions including nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. However, the medicine also has certain side effects which are explained in the following article.
Scopolamine is a commonly used tropane alkaloid that has anticholinergic properties. It is obtained from the plants of Solanaceae family, such as jimsonweed, henbane, and corkwood. It was first isolated from these plants in 1881 in Germany, and was introduced into medical usage in 1902. Also known as levo-duboisine or hyoscine, this supplement is known to have muscarinic antagonistic effects.
It is a naturally occurring alkaloid which is generally used to treat intestinal and stomach disorders such as irritable colon syndrome. It is also used to manage motion sickness and its symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. The drug can also be prescribed to pregnant women, to prevent nausea and vomiting due to morning sickness. It is a generic drug available in the form of a pill or tablet. It is also available in the form of a transdermal patch, which has to placed on the skin behind the ear. The medicine is absorbed by the skin and is believed to block the signals from the nerve fibers near the ear, to the brain and the central nervous system. Despite its several benefits, there are some serious side effects associated with its use.
Like any other drug it has some side effects which include:
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
These are some mild side effects that subside on their own as the body begins to adapt to the medication.
However, the drug may also cause some serious side effects that require immediate medical attention. These include:
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Dilation of pupils
- Extremely dry mouth
- Difficulty in speaking
- Extreme drowsiness
- Mood changes
- Problems with urination
These side effects should not be neglected and medical help should be sought immediately to avoid any further complications. It can also cause allergic reactions including skin rash, itching, hives, difficulty in breathing, tightness in the chest, difficulty in swallowing, and swelling of the tongue, lips, mouth, or face.
The medicine can be taken orally, intravenously, or topically as a patch. The patch has to be applied for at least four hours and its effect lasts for a period of three days. The patch delivers a single dosage of the drug and can sometimes be ineffective in certain cases, depending on the user. Every person’s skin may absorb the drug at a different rate, and hence, the results obtained may differ in each case. It is therefore advised to take it as per the dose prescribed by your doctor. Some other signs of overdose include dizziness, agitation, convulsions or seizures, hallucinations, and coma.
Like most other medications, this drug may interact with other drugs such as tricyclic antidepressants, antihistamines, and anticholinergics, and can cause dangerous interactions. Also, the drug may not be very effective when taken along with phenothiazines. Hence, one should avoid the usage of scopolamine along with the aforementioned drugs to avoid the dangers of adverse drug interactions.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.