Scopolamine is an anticholinergic antiemetic used to treat vestibular nausea and vomiting secondary to motion sickness as well as to decrease oral secretions for dying patients and patients under anesthesia. Anticholinergics cause anti-parasympathetic effects such as dry mouth, constipation, urine retention, and hyperglycemia.

Key Points

  • Scopolamine [skoe-POL-a-meen]
    • Mechanism of Action
      • Antagonizes muscarinic receptors
        • Competes with acetylcholine to block signalling
    • Clinical Use
      • Antiemetic
        • N/V secondary to motion sickness or Meniere Disease (inner ear disorder = vertigo)
      • Decrease oral/airway secretions
        • Anesthesia
          • Prevents aspiration
        • Death rattle
          • Dying patients unable to manage secretions
    • Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
      • Anticholinergic (Dry mouth, Constipation, Urinary retention, hyperglycemia)