Three-years' experience of transdermal scopolamine: Long-term effectiveness and side-effects

A. Shupak, C. R. Gordon, O. Spitzer, N. Mendelowitz, Y. Melamed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A study was carried out in 68 otherwise healthy male naval crew members to assess the long-term effectiveness and side-effects of routine transdermal scopolamine administration for the prevention of seasickness. The transdermal patches were applied to the mastoid process before each sailing and the subjects generally used 2 patches a week. Check-ups were made every 3 months over a period of 3 years. The average reported seasickness severity (on a scale of 0 to 7) after 6 months at sea prior to the administration of transdermal scopolamine was 5.64 ± 0.11 (mean ± S.E.M.), in comparison with 3.14 ± 0.23 post-administration (p < 0.001). A significant improvement was found in the self-estimated performance at sea whilst receiving the drug: 65.7% ± 3.38% (mean ± S.E.M.), compared to 25% ± 2.24% beforehand (p < 0.001). Contact dermatitis precluded the use of transdermal scopolamine in 3 (4.4%) subjects. The only other significant side-effect was dryness of mucous membranes. In conclusion, transdermal scopolamine was found to be effective in the prevention of seasickness and improvement of performance at sea during 3 years of follow-up and routine administration of the drug was not complicated either by severe side-effects or by performance disturbances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-370
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (all)


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