Scopolamine Patch

Helping Hand Logo

Scopolamine (sco PAUL oh meen) patch is the generic name for Transderm Scop®. A scopolamine patch gives medicine through the skin to treat nausea and vomiting after surgery. It also treats motion sickness. The patch is placed on the skin, behind the ear, and left on the body for a certain amount of time. The medicine moves from the patch through the skin, and into the body at a constant rate.


  • If your child is allergic to the medicine in the patch or glues in the patch, he or she should not take this medicine.
  • If a patient thinks she might be pregnant, she should tell the doctor before she begins taking this or any medicine.
  • If a patient is breast-feeding her baby, she should tell her doctor before she starts taking this medicine. This medicine can pass into breast milk and cause side effects in the baby.

How to Give This Medicine

  • Wash your hands before and after you handle the patch.
  • Do not shave the skin before putting on the patch. If there is hair, trim the hair close to the skin.
  • Use clean water to clean the skin. Do not use soaps, lotions, oils, or alcohols. Let the skin dry completely (about 15 to 20 minutes).
  • Remove the patch by cutting along the dotted line on the wrapper.
  • Peel apart the clear plastic backings. The tan circle patch will still be stuck to one of the plastic backings.
  • Try not to touch the metallic sticky side of the patch. That is where the medicine is.
  • Use the patch right after taking it out of the wrapper.
  • Put the patch behind the ear where there is no hair. Do not put it over skin that is burned, irritated, or broken.

Removing or Changing the Patch

  • For nausea and vomiting after surgery, remove the patch 24 hours after surgery unless your child still has nausea or vomiting. Take off the patch when symptoms are gone OR after 3 days.
  • For motion sickness, change or remove the patch after 3 days.
  • Wash hands well before and after touching the old or new patch.
  • Remove and throw away the old patch before putting a new one on. When you take off an old patch, fold the sticky sides together and flush it down the toilet. Do not throw the patch in the garbage can.
  • Do not put the new patch where the old patch was. Put the new patch behind the OTHER ear.

Important Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do not cut a patch to use a lower dose.
  • Do not use a patch that looks like it was cut, damaged, or changed. This can cause too much of the medicine to go into the body and lead to an overdose.
  • Do not change the dose or stop using the patch without talking to the doctor first.
  • Do not let your child wear more than one patch at a time.
  • Do not drink alcohol while using the patch.
  • Do not drive or use heavy machinery while the patch is on.
  • Do not let your child get overheated or use a heat source (like an electric blanket, heating pad, heat lamp, sauna, hot tub, or heated waterbed) while using the patch. These things can cause the body’s temperature to go up. This causes more medicine to be absorbed and can lead to an overdose.
  • Do not let your child use the patch when having an MRI. This can cause overheating under the patch and hurt the skin. Tell the MRI staff that your child uses a patch when making the appointment and again when you get to the appointment. Before the test, take the patch off, fold it up with the sticky sides together, and flush it down the toilet. Replace it with a new patch on a new site on your child’s body when the MRI test is finished.
  • If your child’s doctor tells you to stop using the patches, throw away any that are left over in the same way as a used patch.
  • Give the exact dose of medicine your child’s doctor ordered.

If You Forget to Give a Dose

If you forget to put on or change a patch, put one on as soon as you can. Do not put on extra patches to make up a missed dose.

Medicine Storage

  • Store all medicine out of the reach of children.
  • Always keep medicine in the original container from the pharmacy.
  • Do not keep this medicine in the refrigerator. Store it at room temperature.
  • Light and moisture make this medicine not work as well. Store it in a dark, dry place. Do not store it in the bathroom or above the kitchen sink.
  • Keep this medicine away from heat or direct sunlight.
  • Do not use this medicine after the expiration date printed on the container.
  • When your doctor decides this medicine is no longer needed, fold the sticky sides together and flush the rest of the medicine down the toilet.

Drug Interactions

Be careful using the scopolamine patch with these other medicines:

  • Opioid pain medicines
  • Allergy medicines
  • Kava Kava
  • Antidepressants (like, fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline, citalopram, escitalopram)
  • Sleeping medicines
  • Topiramate
  • Do not give over-the-counter medicines, like acetaminophen, aspirin, antacids, or cold medicines, without checking with your child’s doctor or pharmacist first.

Possible Side Effects

  • Drowsiness
  • Not being able to urinate (urinary retention)
  • Blurry vision
  • Itching, rash, redness or swelling where the patch is placed
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Dry mouth

When to Call the Doctor

Call your child’s doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Your child is having any side effects that continue or are very bothersome
  • Your child has a fever of greater than 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit. A fever can cause too much medicine to pass into the body. This can lead to an overdose of medicine.

Getting the Prescription Filled

  • Have your pharmacist give you 2 labeled packages if your daycare provider will be giving this medicine.
  • Your child’s school will need a note from you and from the doctor if the medicine is to be given at school.
  • Get this prescription refilled at least 3 to 5 days before the last dose is given (Picture 1). This is very important.
  • Some pharmacies may not have this medicine. Please ask your nurse to call your pharmacy before you leave the hospital to see if they have this medicine or can order it for you. You may also have the prescription filled at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Pharmacy.

Safety Tips and Other Advice

  • Tell your child’s doctor and pharmacist if your child has a strange or allergic reaction to any medicine.
  • Do not stop giving this medicine or change the amount given without first talking with your child’s doctor or pharmacist. This patch delivers medicine at a constant rate. Stopping the medicine can cause withdrawal symptoms.
  • The doctor has prescribed this medicine for your child only. Do not give it to anyone else.
  • Tell your child’s teacher, school nurse, coach, babysitter, or caregiver that your child is taking this medicine. Tell them what side effects to watch for.
  • If you carry medicine in your purse, keep it in its childproof container and keep your purse out of the reach of children.
  • Bring all your child’s medicines with you in the original containers whenever your child sees a doctor, goes to an emergency room, or is admitted to the hospital. This helps doctors who may not know your child.
  • Learn the name, spelling, and dose of the medicine. Also, teach your child if he or she is old enough. You will need to know this information when you call your doctor or pharmacist.
  • If your child takes too much of this medicine, or if someone else takes this medicine, call the Central Ohio Poison Center right away at 1-800-222-1222 (TTY 614-228-2272). They will tell you what to do.
  • It is important to keep a record of when the medicine is given. You may use a calendar or the Helping Hand: Medication Record, HH-V-1.

Follow-Up Appointments

Write down all your questions as you think of them. Bring this list with you when you see the doctor.

If you have any questions, be sure to ask your child’s doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

Scopolamine Patch (PDF)

HH-V-271 3/17 Copyright 2017 Nationwide Children’s Hospital