Scopoderm patches contain a substance called hyoscine hydrobromide, which is one of the most widely used medications to treat travel sickness. This is due to the ease of application, discretion and long treatment time. Hyoscine is absorbed through your skin via the Scopoderm patch. Each patch contains 1.5mg of hyoscine and can be kept on for up to three days.
Scopoderm patches are effective in treating all kinds of motion and travel sickness. They are especially useful when a long treatment time is required, for example on a cruise or coach trip.
When travelling, it is possible to begin to feel travel sick when there is a conflict between what your inner ear can sense (your balance) and what your eyes can see. When this conflict begins it can make you feel unsteady, disorientated and nauseous. Hyoscine works by reducing this conflict in your brain.
Hyoscine blocks receptors called muscarinic (or cholinergic) in the vomiting centre from receiving messages from the vestibular system (the area that senses balance and spatial awareness). This prevents the internal confusion, which causes the feeling of nausea.
This medicine works best before you start to feel ill, so it's recommended that you put on a patch 5 to 6 hoursbefore travel. However, you can also use the patch during travel to help reduce nausea.
To ensure that you put on the patch correctly, follow these steps:
- Remove the patch from its seal and peel off the clear, hexagonal plastic backing. Hold the patch by its edge and be careful to avoid touching the sticky side.
- To put the patch on, find a dry, hairless area of skin behind your ear and press the silver-coloured sticky side in place. Hold the patch there and count slowly to ten.
- Next, wash your hands thoroughly.
- When you remove the patch, wash your hands thoroughly afterwards, as well as washing the area of skin where the patch has been.
If the patch comes off accidentally during your journey, throw away the patch, wash the area, as advised above, and put a new patch on behind the other ear.
Each patch lasts for up to 3 days (72 hours). You can use Scopoderm patches for longer journeys – just take the patch off after 3 days and put a new one behind the other ear.
As with any medicine, there are potential side-effects. The most commonly reported side-effect is a dryness of the mouth, although this does not last long.
Other side effects include:
- Sleepiness, dizziness, confusion and hallucinations.
- Blurred vision.
- Redness or itching of the skin where a patch has been.
If any of these effects are severe, or if you experience any other side effects, take the patch off and consult a Doctor. Also seek medical assistance if any side effect lasts for over 24 hours, after removing the patch. However, it is rare for the symptoms to persist this long.
Due to the potential side effect of drowsiness, you must not drive or operate machinery whilst wearing a Scopoderm patch.
It's important to always wash your hands after inserting or removing a Scopoderm patch. You should also try to avoid touching the patch whilst it's on. This is because, if you touch your eyes with hyoscine on your fingers, the substance can temporarily blur your vision.
Also, do not drink alcohol or take other anti-sickness medicines whilst using Scopoderm patches.
Provided that you have applied the patch properly, you can swim, bathe or shower with little risk of it coming off. However, it is best not to stay in the water too long.
Do not cut the patches in an attempt to reduce the dosage. This may release a much larger dose in a short time period.
During your consultation, we will determine whether Scopoderm patches are suitable for you. However, speak to your doctor before using Scopoderm patches if:
- You suffer from any serious gastrointestinal, kidney, liver or bladder disease
- You suffer from epilepsy
- You are pregnant or breast-feeding
- If you have ever had glaucoma
- Have a history of bladder or bowel obstruction
- If you've had a bad reaction to hyoscine, or other anti-sickness medication in the past
Scopoderm patches are not suitable for children less than 10 years old.
You should also inform your doctor, before you buy Scopoderm patches, if you are taking any other medicines.
Scopoderm patches realease the active ingredient, hyoscine hydrobromide, at a rate of approximately 1mg/72 hours when in contact with the skin.