This medication is used to widen the pupils for eye examination or eye surgery. It is also used to decrease pain and swelling from an inflammation of the eye (iridocyclitis). It belongs to a class of drugs known as anticholinergics. Scopolamine works by blocking the effects of a certain natural chemical (acetylcholine) on certain eye muscles, causing relaxation of these muscles. This effect causes the pupil to widen and the lens to temporarily lose the ability to focus. Scopolamine decreases pain in eye inflammation by relaxing the eye muscles.
If you are using this medication for eye inflammation, apply it to the eye up to 3 or 4 times a day or as directed by your doctor. If you are using this medication to widen the pupil, it is usually applied in the eye 1 hour before the procedure/exam or as directed by your doctor. This medication is for use in the eye only. Do not take by mouth or inject.
To apply eye drops, wash your hands first. To avoid contamination, do not touch the dropper tip or let it touch your eye or any other surface.
Tilt your head back, look upward, and pull down the lower eyelid to make a pouch. Hold the dropper directly over your eye and place 1 drop into the pouch as directed by your doctor. Look downward and gently close your eyes for 1 to 2 minutes. Place one finger at the corner of your eye (near the nose) and apply gentle pressure for 2 to 3 minutes. This will prevent the medication from draining away from the eye and will also help reduce side effects. Try not to blink and do not rub your eye. Repeat these steps if your dose is for more than 1 drop or for your other eye if so directed. Wash your hands after applying eye drops.
Do not rinse the dropper. Replace the dropper cap after each use.
If you are using another kind of eye medication (e.g., drops or ointments), ask your doctor if you should continue to use them with this medication and when you should start them again. Use eye drops before eye ointments to allow the drops to enter the eye.
If you have been directed to use this medicine more than 1 time (e.g., for eye inflammation), use it regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time(s) each day. Continue using it for the full time prescribed.
This medication starts to work in minutes, and its effect usually lasts for several days or sometimes longer. Tell your doctor if you continue to have blurred vision, sensitivity to light, or widened pupils 1 week after your exam. If you are treating inflammation, tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
Temporary burning/stinging/redness of the eye may occur. Blurred vision, sensitivity to light, drowsiness, or dry mouth may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, hallucinations, memory problems), nausea/vomiting, difficulty urinating, muscle spasms.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: eye pain/swelling, vision changes (such as seeing rainbows around lights at night).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using scopolamine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to atropine, other belladonna-type drugs; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as preservatives like benzalkonium chloride), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: personal or family history of glaucoma (angle-closure type), brain damage or spastic paralysis in children, Down's syndrome, certain eye conditions (e.g., thinning cornea also known as keratoconus, or scarring between the cornea, iris, and lens).
This drug may cause blurred vision. Your eyes may also become sensitive to light. Wearing dark sunglasses may help with the light sensitivity. These vision changes may last up to 7 days after use of scopolamine. This drug may also make you drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Caution is advised when using this drug in children because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, especially the mental/mood effects.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: other anticholinergic medications (e.g., belladonna), antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine, meclizine), eye medications for glaucoma/increased pressure in the eye (e.g., carbachol, dorzolamide, pilocarpine), certain drugs for Parkinson's disease (e.g., anticholinergics such as benztropine, trihexyphenidyl).
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If swallowing or overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
If you are using this drug on a regular schedule and miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 46-80 degrees F (8-27 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised November 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
With WebMD's Medicine Cabinet, you can check interactions with drugs.Go to medicine cabinet