Hyoscine hydrobromide

Sounds like 'Hi-o-seen Hi-dro-BRO-mide'

Easy-to-read medicine information about hyoscine hydrobromide (patch) – what is it, how to use it safely and possible side effects.

Type of medicine Also called
  • Used to prevent motion sickness
  • Scopolamine hydrobromide
  • Scopoderm TTS®

What is hyoscine hydrobromide?

  • Hyoscine hydrobromide (also called scopolamine hydrobromide) is used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by motion sickness or used to treat dizziness caused by vertigo. 
  • It works by correcting the imbalance of chemicals in the body that can occur in motion sickness, and it also blocks certain signals to the brain that can cause nausea and vomiting.
  • Hyoscine hydrobromide is available as a patch that you apply to the skin behind the ear. 

Dose

  • The dose of hyoscine hydrobromide is 1 patch applied to the skin behind the ear. Remove the patch after 3 days. If treatment is to be continued for more than 3 days, remove the first patch and apply a new one behind the opposite ear.
  • When used for motion sickness, it should be applied at least 5 hours before the journey.

How to use hyoscine hydrobromide patch

  • Peel off the clear backing from the patch and apply it to a clean, dry, area of the skin behind the ear.
  • Choose an area with little or no hair and free of scars, cuts, or irritation. 
  • Press the patch firmly for at least 30 seconds to make sure it sticks well, especially around the edges.
  • Apply the patch right away after removing it from the protective wrapping. Do not cut it into smaller pieces and do not touch the sticky surface of the patch. 
  • The patch should stay in place even during showering, bathing, or swimming. 
  • If the patch comes off or needs to be replaced, throw away the old patch and place a new one behind the other ear, on a clean, dry, hairless area.
  • Use only one patch at a time.
  • When throwing away the old patch, fold it in half with the sticky side together and throw away in the rubbish. Dispose of it out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling the patch to prevent the medication accidentally getting into your eyes. Also, wash the area behind the ear where the patch was removed.
  • Limit or avoid alcohol while you are wearing the patch. It can increase your chance of side effects such as drowsiness (make you sleepy).   
  • If you forget to wear or change a patch, put one on as soon as you can. If it is almost time to put on your next patch, wait until then to apply a new patch and skip the one you missed. Do not apply extra patches to make up for a missed dose.

Special instructions

Some procedures such as MRI scans may overheat the patch and burn your skin. If you are wearing a hyoscine hydrobromide patch, always let your health provider know.    

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, hyoscine hydrobromide can cause unwanted side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often unwanted side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Redness, burning, itch or irritation on the skin where the patch is applied
  • This should settle within a day or so
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome
  • Feeling tired
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dizziness
  • Problems with your eyesight and vision such as blurred vision 
  • Be careful when driving or using tools until you know how this medicine affects you
  • This may last for 24 hours or longer after the patch is removed
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome
  • To relieve dry mouth, suck ice chips, drink water, or use a saliva substitute
  • Withdrawal symptoms when the patch is removed such as nausea (feeling sick), vomiting (throwing up), headache, loss of balance, dizziness and blurred vision
  • Some people who use the patch for longer than 3 days, may get withdrawal symptoms when the patch is removed
  • These symptoms make take a few days to settle after the patch is removed
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome

Interactions

Hyoscine hydrobromide can interact with a number of important medications and herbal supplements so check with your doctor or pharmacist.

Learn more

The following links provide further information on hyoscine hydrobromide. Be aware that websites from other countries may contain information that differs from New Zealand recommendations.

Hyoscine for travel sickness Patient Info, UK

Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Last reviewed: 17 Oct 2016