Scopoderm travel sickness patches contain a substance called hyoscine hydrobromide, which is one of the most widely used medications to treat travel sickness.
Hyoscine is absorbed through your skin via the self adhesive Scopoderm patch. Each patch contains 1.5mg of hyoscine and can be kept on for up to three days.
The hyoscine works by reducing the conflict in your brain, which can happen while travelling. You begin to feel travel sick when there is a conflict between what your inner ear can sense and what your eyes can see.
Hyoscine blocks receptors called muscarinic (or cholinergic) in the vomiting centre from receiving messages from the vestibular system. This prevents the internal confusion, which causes the feeling of nausea.
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.
This medicine works best before you start to feel ill, so it's recommended that you put on a patch 5 to 6 hours before 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.