Which is the role of scopolamine in the prevention of motion sickness?

Updated: Oct 22, 2018
  • Author: Andrew Brainard, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

The goal of pharmacological therapy is to prevent motion sickness, or relieve the symptoms of motion sickness, such as nausea.

Anticholinergic Agents

Scopolamine, an anticholinergic, is used for the prevention of motion sickness and for acute treatment. Scopolamine’s effectiveness is likely due to its central anticholinergic properties.

Common adverse effects can include dry mouth/nose/throat, drowsiness, loss of visual accommodation, and sensitivity to bright light. Less common adverse effects include palpitations, urinary retention, bloating, constipation, headache, and confusion.

Scopolamine, which is most commonly prescribed as a transdermal patch, should be administered at least 30 minutes prior to exposure to motion stimuli. It should be placed behind the ear on the mastoid on a clean, hairless area.


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