I have a complicated question. I was given a scopolomine patch for surgery. I was hospitalized for 4 days. About 48 hours after I was discharged, I began suffering from significant nausea and vertigo. My OB\GYN surgeon prescribed more scopolomine patches. I also developed severe sinusitis and bronchitis in the week after my discharge and was put on an antibiotic. Each time I used the patch, the symptoms were controlled, but about 24-48 hours after removal, the symptoms were back with a vengeance. I called after the third patch, and my surgeon said I needed to see my PCP because it was no longer surgery related. I asked whether I was having some sort of "rebound" symptoms from the removal of my patch, and she told me no. I went to my pCP, he believed it was an inner ear problem, gave me another round of antibiotics, a steroid shot, a medrol dose pack and two more patches in case the symptoms came beck before the meds worked. I continue to have the same problems. With my own research, I am reading that my symptoms may well be withdrawal from my scopolomine patch. My question is whether this sounds like what may be causing my problem and if so, now what? What is the best course of action to get through the incapacitating symptoms and get off this patch?
Hi Gina. I tried posting a comment to you a minute ago, but I don't think it worked so here's the message again.
My wife has had the same symptoms as you after using the Transderm-Scop patch on a 7 day cruise that ended Jan. 20. The symptoms started just over 24 hours after she took the patch off. The first week was Hell; she couldn't even stand up straight because of the dizziness, the nausea was terrible, her vision was so blurred she couldn't see plus she had the worst headache of her life. Fast forward to today and she's still unable to walk more than a few feet without me there to support her, let alone drive her car or go back to work. The doctors we've seen tell her it's vertigo and gave her some anti-vertigo meds but either they're not working very well, or they are working very, very well and she's worse off than we think. She's having to go on short term disability because of this!
Since this all started I've done research on the web just as you have, and just like you I've found quite a few people who've suffered like this after taking the patch off. There are chat forums where people share their suffering, and even the manufacturer's web site indicates there can be withdrawal symptoms of dizziness, nausea and headache. Last night, my wife was talking to a nurse friend of hers who said she's seen many patients who've had this problem after taking the Transderm Scop patch and while it apparently usually does resolve itself, it can take weeks or longer to do so. I wish the pharmacist had told us about this, because I guarantee my wife would never have gone near the patch if she's know the side effects could be this bad.
Strangely, even with all this, the doctors she's seen dismiss the idea of Scopolamine withdrawal without even considering it. I believe this is another example of the arrogance and lack of attention -and caring- that's become so much a reality of our medical system. She's got an appointment with a specialist in early March and hopefully he won't be so arrogant that he dismisses something with so much evidence behind it.
I really hope both you and my wife get better soon, and I'm very curious to see if anyone with a medical background responds to your post. Good luck to you.
Hi Gina. I am currently experiencing the same thing you are. I went on a 7 day cruise, used the trans-derm scop patch, replacing it every 3 days. After I got home, I left my last patch on one week (as suggested by my PCP). Twenty-four hours after removal, I was nauseaous and dizzy and had a terrible headache. After 3 days of this, and at the recommendation of my PCP, I put on another patch and within a few hours starting feeling fine. That lasted about one week and am now going through the same symptoms. I have just put on another patch, but am terrified that this is not ever going to get better. I know that it is withdrawal from the scop and not inner ear or infections or others. What have others done when going through this? Do I need to tell my work that I need 3 or 4 weeks off, and just bear through this horrible situation? Someone must have better suggestions than to just grin and bear it... because it's unbearable.
It is definitely from the scopolamine. I have been on 16 cruises and everytime I have stopped the scopolamine I have the same symptoms of extreme fatigue. The first 24 hours after I stopped the medication there was no problem, but when I awoke the next day I was really out of it. I do not suffere from the nausea or headache that you have encountered. It usually subsides after about 6 weeks. I have done extensive research on this and there is a syndrome known as mal debarquement that has the exact symptoms. Someohow it must be related to the inner ear from the fluid. The scopolamine does the job of calming this down to prevent motion sickness, but when it is no longer in the system is when the issues present themselves. From what I have found there is no known cure. People tell me, "just don't go on any more cruises"!
I tried posting a longer reply a minute ago, but it didn't work so I'm trying it again.
Long story short, the Ear, Nose and Throat specialist my wife finally got to see was also unable to find a cause for her illness. Everyone seems mystified as to the original cause but I still strongly believe it was the scop patch. We're waiting for an MRI to see if that will find something that the doctors and the x-ray have missed, just to make sure that she doesn't have a tumor or blood clot, or anything like that.
Here's the good news: the specialist confirmed that there was no hearing loss or physical damage to her ear. He recommened vestibular rehabilitation physiotherapy, which she started a few days later. What he said was that no matter what caused the problem, you still need to retrain your inner ear so it works right. It's been about a month and a half since she started, and there has been very significant improvement. It was quite tough on her at first but at this point she has very few dizzy spells, and when they hit they're shorter and not as intense. Her nausea is completely gone as well. We're hopeful that she'll be back to work in a couple of weeks and a complete recovery in the next few months seems likely.
If you're still sick, Gina (and everyone else), I'd strongly recommend finding a vestibular rehabilitation therapist in your area.
I also experience the same symptoms after using the scopolamine patches i.e. nausea, fatigue and feel depress. I was on a 11 night cruise and applied a total of 3 patches with a one day break on day 6 of our cruise. It has worked well for me during the cruise but I now regret that I have used these patches as I feel terrible now
Just a short update: after a few weeks of physiotherapy, my wife's symptoms are completely gone and she is back to her old self. She had a CAT scan -not an MRI- which was also negative. Bottom line, there was no physical cause for her sickness that could be found so we still believe strongly that the scopolomine patch is what caused all of her problems. Anytime the subject comes up, we warn people away from it because of what it did to her. At the end of the day, we're just happy she recovered.
Step1260, if your symptoms don't resolve themselves in a few weeks then I'd highly recommend finding a vestibular rehabilitation therapist.
I just returned from Asia, having used the patch for 3 weeks. After removal, I went through the same hell after the 24 hours as others have described. My doctor has no idea how to help, and checked with the hospital pharmacist who had no idea either. I called the company that distributes the patch, and they had no answers. My doc suggested I put the patch back on, and that alleviated the problem, but what am I in for when this one comes off? If the manufacturer has no clue, it's time to call the FDA.
The same thing will happen when you take this one off. I made my own plan for withdrawal of the medication. I wore the patch fewer and fewer days each time and chose the days I took it off based on when I could afford to be sick. It took at least a month to get completely off of them. It took several months for the symptoms to totally abate. The doctors just don't have a clue that oit happens or what to do about it. My OB GYN who used it during surgery told me that there was no way that my symptoms were scopalomine related. Good luck. It will get better, but it sure is a lousy process.
One week ago, I read this webpage, trying to learn all I could about scope withdrawel. I, too, had used the patch. I had used it for about four to five weeks. It started innocently enough, then I noticed getting sick the day after I took it off, so I would put it back on. I thought I had something wrong with my eyes or ears. Anyway, after learning more, I suspected I was having withdrawel symptoms from the patch. Mine would occur about 16 to 18 hours after taking the patch off, and would cause nausea and vomiting. As all of you have learned, there is very little information out there about what to do to help. I certainly couldn't allow six weeks to get better (I am a surgeon), and am an hour away from a true "vestibular rehab therapist". So...I picked Friday, July 11th as the day I'd take the patch off, and planned to go "cold turkey", not quite sure what I'd do if I wasn't better on Monday. Friday night, after work, I took the patch off. (I prayed as well, hoping the Lord Jesus would spare me the nausea I had already learned to expect.) Well, He had his reasons, so around 2 PM on Saturday I got sick. From that point on I was in the bed, getting up to throw up, barely drinking six tablespoons of water in two days. Sunday night we called a physician friend of ours, asking if he had any ideas. He graciously went to the hospital and did some research. He couldn't find much (as we all know), but he suggested I either put the patch back on (just to buy some time) or try high dose meclizine. I really didn't want to put the patch back on. I had already given two days of "hell" toward getting off the patch, and I didn't want to have to re-do them. So I chose plan B. I was able to get our hospital pharmacy to fill the prescription, and I started meclizine 50 mg every six hours. (The usual dose is 25 mg three times a day for typical vertigo.) Guess what! I was able to go to work on Monday morning after a midnight dose and a six AM dose, and today it is Saturday evening and I am now on 25 mg every 8 hours. I feel perfectly normal, and have even been 2 or 3 hours late on a dose and had no ill effects, but am too scared to quit the meclizine cold turkey. We are gradually weaning. In a day or so, I'll be down to one twice a day, and soon thereafter will be off. My doctor friend has actually been studying alot about vestibular exercises and their effects on learning in children, so he is my vestibular rehab expert now. I don't do any structured stuff, but I practice walking a straight line, and tipping my head in varied directions and moving my eyes in varied directions. I feel fine, and it has been one week since my horrible scope withdrawel symptoms started for the last time. Good luck to all. Meclizine (anti-vert) helped me. I feel that the Lord has helped me through this, taught me alot about how brave folks who take chemo are-imagine facing this kind of misery each time they take chemo! Hopefully this post will help someone else. Mary
WoW! I am so appreciative for all of you that have posted these comments, as yesterday began my first withdrawal (unbeknownst to me why I was feeling SO LOUSY) just about 24 hours after taking off the patch. I began using it July 2nd preventative for surgery and have continued to take it along with Zofran 4 mg. to 8 mg on an as-needed basis to keep my nausea at bay from narcotic pain meds, et. al. A physician (Family Practice) friend stopped by last night and assessed me with likely having withdrawal symptoms from the patch. After reading all that you each have written, I am optimistic that his diagnosis was right on target. I will share with you his suggestion: Put the patch back on and in 72 hours at the change, cut the patch in 1/2 and supplement with the Zofran as needed. (I have 12.5 mgs. of Meclizine but that makes my head too foggy relative to my cognitive ability). After weaning from the 1/2, he suggested that I wean down to 1/4 of the patch and wean off using the Zofran (VERY EXPENSIVE BUT NO SIDE EFFECTS!). As I do not begin the weaning process until Sunday when it time to make the 72 hour change, I don't have the answers to whether it will work but I am hopeful and his suggestions sound reasonable. Good luck to you all and I will do a final post to let you know how I made out, as vomiting after a triple hernia repair is not top on my list of priorities, not to mention that I would like to get back to work!
I wanted to let you all know that I am completely well! I am off meclizine, totally symptom free. I cannot tell you the freedom I feel. After trying several times to stop the patch, only to put it back on for the debilitating nausea I would feel after about 18 hours, my pain-free cessation with the use of meclizine was wonderful. Two weeks ago today I took the patch off. Yes, I had a miserable Saturday and Sunday until my doctor friend advised the Meclizine. But once I started that medication, I had no further symptoms and by weaning the meclizine I believe my vestibular system had time to gradually rehabilitate. So...our wean was Meclizine 50 mg every six hours for 72 hours, then 25 mg every six hours for 72 hours, 25 mg every 8 hours for 72 hours, 25 mg every 12 hours for two days, then off. The dose of 25 mg every 12 hours the last two days was probably more for my own peace of mind, as actually I was probably med free for several hours between doses (and felt fine), but was leary of quitting (after that horrible weekend when I quit the scope patch for the last time). I am a physician myself, and although the idea of tapering the scope sounds good, I would not recommend it for reasons already given. Other folks had suggested that when I was looking for advice, but I did not try it. Good luck! Mary
I was pretty good. I felt a tiny bit mellow, or slow, but not much. I did note that I slept well when I put my head down at night, and it was easy to oversleep a few extra minutes. I was not sleepy during the day, though. Granted 50 mg every six hours is a high dose, but at the time I was SO sick, that my doc and I just picked that dose out of the air in an effort to get me upright and functioning. It is very possible I could have done as well with a slightly lower dose to start. I don't know. After being so ill for two days straight, not taking in any oral liquids, etc. I was frantic. I was scheduled to do surgery on that Monday, and the patient wouldn't let anyone else do her cancer surgery. I sure didn't want to make her wait either, as it was a cancer procedure. And I did not want to put the patch back on...so.... It all worked out very well. My patient did great, I am cured, and hopefully you will do as well. I do feel the two week taper helped me, since my vestibular system recovered during that time.
The standard dose for Meclizine is 25 mg three times a day, which is the dose for folks who suffer from Meniere's disease, so your doc might want to put you on a little higher dose. You may need to wait till you are completely off the Scope patch (i.e. starting to feel sick) before you start the meclizine. I don't know how it would be to take the meclizine while still having the scope in your system. Meclizine is a form of anti-histamine, hence it might make you sleepy at the higher dose. I didn't have much trouble with that, however. Good luck, and let me know how it goes. Mary
Amazingly, it took just a little over a week and today was the first day I woke up "feeling myself" bright and early. I am a light weight when it comes to taking medications and my vestibular system has has it's issues over the years so we did the 25 mg. taper dose using the 12.5 of Meclizine to reduce to and cut the time in half ... and thankfully, it worked like a charm! I can tell you, it wasn't an easy withdrawal but it was successful! The one thing I did do was take the meclizine within 18 hours of taking off the patch and used it in combination with the Zofran to avoid feeling sick. It worked and I so VERY MUCH appreciate your input, guidance and support. Casey
I am so happy for you, that you are "free" of the curse of the scope patch. My doc may write my experience up to report in the medical literature, since there isn't much out there for folks who are having problems getting off the patch. I know I will never, ever, use the patch again. Mary
Long story, short…DO NOT EVER USE THE SCOPOLAMINE PATCH!!!!!
But to the long story...
I was “addicted” to it for almost 4 months. I do not have an addictive personality. I don’t smoke, rarely drink. This patch was HORRIBLE. I used it for motion sickness while traveling only to realize the withdrawals were tenfold. I went to remove it, 24 hours later was vomiting and nauseated beyond belief. The only relief came via placing another patch on. All withdrawals were gone within 2-3 hours. Life was back to “normal”. Replay that for 4 months. I was in the middle of moving cross country from east coast to west, down one end of that coast and back up again and did not have time to lie up in bed and deal with the DT’s.
I purchased several packages of Meclizine and set a date after researching and discussing it with my Dr. I TALKED IT OVER WITH MY DOCTOR BEFORE STARTING AS SHOULD YOU. You can buy Meclizine over the counter, you don’t need a rx. Fairly cheap, $4 a box for the generic brand.
I placed my last patch on Thursday evening, Sept. 11, 2008. I wore it until Monday September 15, 2008. Tuesday afternoon I fell a couple hours short of avoiding the vomiting, taking 25mg of Meclizine a little too late (about 45 min. prior to “episode”).
Immediately after recouping myself I took another 25mg out of fear I had “removed” the previous dose from my body. (totaled 50mg)
It made me fairly drowsy (I have a decent tolerance) for the rest of that afternoon. I slept most of it. But I had no more issues with nausea or vomiting from there on out.
I continued with 50mg doses every 6 hours for 3 days. By Friday September 19, 2008 I was spreading my doses to every 12 hours without realizing it.
By Monday September 22, 2008 I was down to 25 mg (half of starting dose) every 12 hours.
2 days later…on the 24th, I WAS DONE WITH ALL MECLIZINE!!!!!!
I avoided driving the first couple days but was out and about with no issues thereafter. I was not as drowsy either. I did not suffer any serious vertigo, only when I moved my head too fast. I had no issues walking or operating a normal routine. NO ISSUES.
I am one day short of being free of all things motion sickness related and could not feel better. Total I did a little over a week of the Meclizine after letting my last patch run 4 days. I will NEVER place that patch on my body again.
I have my leftover patches in my purse so I can take them to the pharmacy so they can dispose of them properly. Don’t just throw them out. If someone comes across them in the trash it could prove fatal. A lot of addicts who find patches place them under their tongues for quicker absorption and they can overdose and die.
Please, believe that there is a way off this patch. I was so scared of the after affects that I had experienced several times; swearing I would just “bear through it” that I kept it on for months. I have never had such retching experiences in my life. It is beyond brutal. Meclizine worked wonders for me and I thank Mary2008599 soooooooooooooooo much for her input and strategy. A variation of it worked for me and I am so relieved. You can get off of it.
Imagine that, being addicted to something not for the euphoria, but to prevent vomiting so profusely that you swear your appendix just found its way up. Seriously, I never imagined how bad it would be. The pamphlet was far from accurate. FAR.
Many of you say your doctors were not aware of this possible adverse reaction to scopolamine. I suggest you file a report online to the FDA through Medwatch. If the manufacturer and FDA aren't notified, there will never be any research into this side effect. Without research there will never be anything in the literature to make doctors aware of it.
I too have had the same horrible experience with the patch. Unfortunately I ended up in the ER because I had put a new patch on one night (after having SEVERE withdrawal symptoms and having my Dr. tell me to put it back on) and then taking it off the next day to get an MRI and then putting a new one back on after that. My husband had to call 911 because I was shaking, having trouble breathing, dizzy, EXTREME dry mouth and heart palpitations. It ended up I had an overdoes of the medication in my body. I was admitted into the hospital to have them help me through the withdrawal. I was put on phenergan to control the nausea and ativan to control the anxiety and shakiness. I was in the hospital for 2-1/2 days but even after being out for about 2 weeks I still have slight dizziness and anxiety. The dizziness it getting better each day and I think some of my anxiety it due to all that has happened, but I will NEVER use that patch again and am being sure to tell as many people about it so they never use it either. I have gone on the FDA website and reported it to to them. I am glad to see that each of you had been able to get off this horrible patch as well.
Thanks to everyone for their patch withdrawal stories. I am on day 2 of using the meclazine to get off this patch. I used it for surgery then when I got sick after taking it of they put another on. If I had not found this site when I got home I would still be retching from taking off the second one. Why don't they tell you this is a possible side effect????? I thought I had the flu, then food poisoning etc.
Will I start feeling less ill as the days go by until the end? Was there a "turnaround day" midpoint or anythng? It seems so far off right now. I just want to feel better!!! Surgery is bad enough without dealing with this!!!
I took the patch off at night after 9 days and the next morning I couldn't think straight. After 5 days of major depression and some anxiety I went to the MD and got tranquilizers and antidepressant. Changed antidepressant after 4 wks. because of side effects, and now on another. Never had this feeling before. Now it's 5 wks. Got a counselor and psychiatrist for meds. He never heard of scopolamine. My question:
Could this be from the patch??? I'd love to go off the antidepressant, which may be starting to work now, but still with side effects of not sleeping well at all and tired, apathetic, sleepy in the day. Hard to make myself do anything.
Reading all of this scares me! I am a little over 17 weeks pregnant. The first time I had to go to the ER (been 3 times already) the doctor perscribed me Reglan and Scop patch. Yes I must admit it was a relief. But, when I ran out of Scop patch I got so sick I wound up back in the ER and begging for more patches to my OBGYN. He was very hesitant about giving them to me but, knowing my history he did indeed allow me to go back on them. Fast forward to Thursday. I was running out of my patches once again and wound up in ER. This time getting a dose of Zofran in my iv. That was an almost immediately relief. The ER doctor prescribed me Phenergan Suppositories and I am using them and I was past the 72 hour mark with my patch by almost a day so I took that patch off. Not even an hour later (this being TONIGHT and thus the reason I am here) I started to get that "feeling" again. Being that I have 3 children to take care of and a home to run I reluctantly put another patch on. Sigh I am so worried now. I don't want anything happening to my unborn child and I am so afraid that I am now the victim of the withdrawal symptoms you all are talking about and the ones I have experienced. Violent Emesis and not being able to lift my head from my pillow. I simply CAN NOT be sick. My children and husband rely on me to be able to run the house hold. I have not drove our vehicle anywhere because I have just felt so dizzy and afraid that I would cause a wreck. I am so tired of this and I just want to function like a normal human being. I have even cried in my husband's arms over this. Ugh! I just hope and pray my baby is ok from this and I have not done any damage to him/her. I will be absolutely devastated and angry at myself!
You can read my entries above, along with several others. My opinion--you need to get off the patch. Taking meclizine helped me and several others. No nausea, no vertigo, and after a few days...no need for any meds. Of course, check with your OB as far as safety of meclizine during pregnancy before you start. Since taking the patch "tricks" the vestibular apparatus in the ear, when you get off the patch your ear has to re-train...thus the dizziness, vertigo, etc. You experience the motion sickness without the motion! I would be afraid that a baby would have the same "tricks" happening to his/her ear while the scopalamine patch is on you. I wonder how it would affect a baby's sense of balance, positioning of head, etc. Probably not alot as they don't do much balancing at first. But would your baby go through the same detox after birth? I suspect it would. So, the sooner you get off, the better. Just my opinion. Best of luck.
Oh, by the way, I did send a note to the FDA, but never heard anything. Mary
My husband and I returned on March 24th from our cruise and all was well until I removed my scopolamine patch the day returned. All went down hill from there!! By the next day, I had become so dizzy and nauseated I thought I must have contracted something in Mexico! I could not eat anything and was miserable! I suffered for 3 days until I finally went to my doctors office where she questioned me throughly and decided that I should replace the patch to aleviate my symptoms as it could be that i removed the patch too soon after cruising and was still having motion sickness but that we would see how that helped. Well, it did after less than 24hrs i felt good and was pretty much back to normal until it was time to remove the patch again. This time it was not dizziness but the worst headache and nausea I had ever had! It was terrible! I barely tolerated it until again I left work in tears to return to my doctors office where this time bloodwork was obtained and outpatient testing for gallbladder was also done. Of course it was fine, otherwise showing I was slightly dehydrated as I was unable to take in anything by mouth from the extreme nausea. My doctor said we would wait through the weekend (this was on a friday) to see how I did and admit me if I did not improve and that an MRI would be ordered on Monday. My husband stayed on the computer pretty much for days until he came upon this site on Saturday, and that goodness he did!! We spoke to my doctors (husband and wife team) and my father (retired and had been helping all along) and thy all agreed that this was probably the cause and that we would try the antivert (meclizine). I removed the patch on Sunday am and took Meclizine 50mg in the am and 50mg in the pm. I was out of it pretty much but it was better than the alternative!
I did this for 2days and now am completeing first day on 25mg two times.day and so far so good!!
I am a nurse and have aksed several nurses,CRNA's, Physicians and those that know of this drug all stated it is very strong and can be dangerous, with somem stating they use it for induction of anesthesia in trauma patients too sick for usual methods. Others were unaware of the potential harms.
I too was unaware until now and will continue to learn and educate people on the possible effects of this drug! I hope this helps!
I started with vertigo 15 days ago and I'm not sure of the cause. I was using meclizine but wanted to function better so my dr. prescribed the patch. It was wonderful. I put it on Tues. and took it off Fri. On Sat. and Sun. I did not feel well, queasy and dizzy with blurred vision. So on Mon. I put on another patch. I took it off Wed. to see how I was feeling. Within 18 hrs. I started to feel badly again but never threw up. I saw this thread, thank the Lord, and went right to my dr. who doesn't believe in patch withdrawal but said I might've gotten a stronger dose by putting a new patch on. He was disappointed there isn't a patch with a lesser dose and suggested I cut it in half. I asked him for Zofran instead and said I'd work it out with Meclizine and Zofran as mentioned above. Its been 48 hrs. since I took the patch off and the Zofran helped the nausea but the vertigo seems to come and go. I'm praying I don't get another full blown case of it but I will not cut the patch nor use one again. I have a wedding to go to next weekend, in seven days, 5 hours away and I pray this is either over or controllable with Meclizine by then. I'm only taking 12.5 mg. every 8hrs. but feel I should probably move it to every six hours. I'm so thankful to have found this list! Joni in DE
Its been four days and I didn't wake up dizzy today. I stopped meds two days ago. I came on to say I wouldn't use the patch again! And if I did it would be for one time only! Its true you need to give your own vestibular system time to recover. Sleep helps!
I post this to maybe help someone else.... I applied the patch on day 1,4 and 7 of my boat trip- the 'patch' worked well with no problems except for dry mouth.
It was not until I had removed it for 24 hours (a Saturday afternoon) that the problems started. I began to feel disoriented, light headed, loss of appetite, extreme fatigue. But the worst feeling was the anxiety and the feeling of having no emotional control. Minutes went by like hours, I felt as though it was difficult to breath at times. I could not do anything to take my mind off it because I could not concentrate on anything at all. The only time I felt better was for a brief period after waking from a nights sleep (I did sleep well given the fatigue) and naps and then the symptoms restarted. Then, after waking Monday, I passed out and struck my head on the floor, requiring several stitches. The amazing thing was that I felt no pain from the injury until two days later when the drug’s side effects began to wear off. It was the most happy I’ve ever felt to experience pain. I can say that the 4 worst days these symptoms occurred (Saturday through Tuesday) were some of the worst I’ve ever experienced in my life- it was that bad.
What was most annoying was the Dr. failure to even acknowledge that this awful drug has side effects. They wanted to put me on ativan (sp?) and I said no... take another medication and risk side effects? No thank you.
I was feeling almost normal, then Sunday (about 9 days after removal) I had another night where I felt anxious but got through it and was better on Monday. Then this past Saturday evening during dinner again I got anxious and had dry mouth and felt out of it through the next day. Before this Saturday, I felt fully recovered, back exercising and my normal energetic self- thought I was totally through this.
I wonder how long these symptoms will periodically appear.
Suffice to say I will never use Scopolamine again and will discourage anyone who typically experiences drug side-effects (like myself) to avoid it as well.
Went on an 7 days Mexican cruise and use the Scop patch on day 1 and day 4. Removed l'ast patch on day 7 and extreme vertigo and borderline vomitting set in within 24-48 hours. Doctor, though aware of meclizine "step down" treatment, recommended dosage of 2 x 25mg for two days and then repeat using 12.5 mg dosage twice daily for two more days. This simply does not help. Not strong enough. I am now following something closer to Mary2008599's step down dosages...1 day at 50mg, a few days at 25mgs, halved once again thereafter.
Need to sleep...50mg makes me very tired. I can only assume that my balance will be restored in the coming days regardless of what medication I take to make the adjustment easier?
I'm starting the withdrawal - took the patch off 3 hours ago. Earlier I saw my doctor and I told her about this forum on scopolamine withdrawal. She's concerned about the 50 mg part.... She said 100 mg per day is the max. I''m 4'10" and weigh 130 lbs. BUT I had severe polio when I was young, and among other things I have weak lungs and breathing muscles. I now sleep with a bipap with oxygen. She's afraid that that much Meclizine might compromise my breathing. I'm thinking about taking 50 mg like at noon, and the rest of the 6 hour times taking just 25 mg. Do you think that will work?
I did cut back on the starting dose of 50 mg Meclizine a little but found out I needed more than I thought I would. At midnight I did 25 mg, at 6 am I did 50 (because I was worse in the mornings), at noon I did 25 mg plus half a 25 mg, and at 6 pm another 25 mg plus half a 25 mg. That worked for me. I never felt my breathing was compromised. In fact, I had trouble sleeping a bit. Today was my day to start taking just 25 mg every 6 hours. I'm doing so great. I can NOT believe this is working so well!!!! Good bye you stupid Transderm Scop Patches!!!!!
I thank God that I found this website, otherwise I would have never known that I was addicted.
8 weeks ago I started feeling lightheaded, but it wasn't anything major. Week by week it got worse and meclizine just wasn't cutting it. My mom suggested the patch since she had taken it once for altitude sickness and it went away! I felt great, especially because I wasn't tired from taking so much meclizine.
Then the dizziness got worse. My doctor referred me to a neurologist and I had two MRI's done and a full blood panel, all came back normal (this is 6 weeks into the lightheadedness).
Then, they sent me to an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor and he was baffled as to why I would be getting worse and what was causing it in the first place (last week).
As a last stitch effort I made an appointment at my doctor's office with a doctor I had not seen before to get a fresh perspective, and found this website before I went to see her. I thank God for all of you! Thank so you much for sharing your stories. I printed some out and showed them to her and guess what? She actually believed me! I told her that two weeks ago I took off the scop patch and felt fine. 12 hours later I was in hell. 50mg of Meclizine and .5mg of clonopin didn't help because I didn't take them until after it got bad and finally when I fell asleep 4 hours later (and had put the patch back on because I thought it was my dizziness getting worse, not withdrawals) I was fine when I woke up.
She gave me zofran (I already have a ton of meclizine) and told me that I could do it and that she is proud that I am facing this the way I am (I'm 20).
I will be taking off the patch FOR THE LAST TIME EVER :D!!!! after I post this, will be taking 50mg meclizine and 1 zofran, and going to bed. I don't know what I will wake up to, but I know I can get through it. Does anyone have suggestions for me? I have given myself all day friday, saturday and sunday to get to a low enough dose of meclizine that I can function (25mg 3x a day I can function) and study for two tests coming up. Hopefully I will make it in time! When I was filling my prescription for zofran the pharmacist recognized me and said "you've been going through this for quite a while now, right?" and I told him all about it and told him "don't ever let anyone get the scop patch again!"
Thank you again everyone for sharing your stories. Who knew that I would get addicted to a silly little thing like a motion sickness patch. Withdrawals, bring it on.
Also, as a P.S. they wanted to put me on lamictal (an anti-epilepsy medicine) when the vertigo would not go away at about week 4 or 5 (without weaning off the patch first). Thank God I did not do that. I could have been on lamictal the rest of my life if I left it up to the doctor! Will update once the weaning is done!
I have continues to see my issues diminish over the past 12 weeks since i removed the patch. See above for my issues.... Started having some occasional nervousness, mild depression and slight loss of appitite about a month ago, but lasting only a few minutes. A few weeks ago the depressive episodes went away with only mild nervousness lasting only a few minutes... just an annoyance really. For the past 4 days or so, no issues at all for the first time in a couple months. I feel like this has nearly run its course. Thank God.
Hello, my husband and I returned from a cruise three days ago and he seems to be experiencing scopolamine withdrawal--no nausea, but all the other symptoms including anxiety. Thanks so much for this information. I'm going to call his doctor as soon as he's awake again and can tell me which doctor prescribed it.
Thank God for these posts! I thought I was going crazy! I went on a 5 day cruise- Dec.19-24. I put the patch on the first night and another one 2 1/2 days later. On Thursday morning (24th) I took off the patch and WOW- that night the symptoms really hit me. All the same as everyone else- nausea, lightheaded, EXTREME fatigue, and generally out of it mentally. Why didn't the doctor tell me ANY of this could happen? This is hell. There are so many different stories on how long this will last- it is really scary (and depressing) I am hesitant to begin the other meds (meclizine) as I think I'd rather try and "detox" all at once. I've already made it through 3 days without anything- does anyone know how much longer the symptoms last. I only used 2 dumb patches- how could they have been so harmful????
Well, look how many of us have had useless/expensive testing following a cruise. Mine was in October, just now finishing the last of the specialists. My NEW ENT said straight-out, "scopolamine withdrawal." No thanks to the pharmacist, my PCP, the urgent care doc, and the covering PCP when I returned home to a "nightmare" following removal of patch at last airport connection. Like most of you, missed a week of work. Was dx: with Ear infection, Water on the ear, eustachian tube dysfunctin. Now my new ENT seems to be going in the right direction. What a crock for all of us. Thank you for posting the FDA website, I am going there next. Look at all the wasted resources, not including all of our time and being scared witless. FOR NO GOOD REASON. Shame on all the MD's who don't even take the time to understand a drug they prescribed. And shame on the pharmacists as well. I have an outstanding pharmacist, but you think after filling "11" !! new prescriptions following the cruise, they might have offered a bit of news about the patch. I'm done ranting now. Good luck to everyone, may you heal as well as I did. Jeannie
My mother and I went on vacation and put on the patch on days 1, 4, and 8. We took our patches off on January 7th, and I has nausea and anxiety until yesterday, January 13. She is still experiencing withdrawal symptoms. I wish our doctor warned us.
I had the patch prescribed after surgery on Nov 3. I have tried repeatedly to remove the patch and been unsuccessful. My Dr, found today that there is a pill and she is going to help me come off it that way starting next week.
I used three patches after having a tonsillectomy. I have a weak stomach and knew I would vomit from the pain meds. So, I used the Transderm scop patch. I took the last one off two days ago and holy crap, I've been really really sick. I'm dizzy as hell right now trying to type this. I somehow knew that it was the patch and began researching through google right away. I need to get back to my life as I have already been off for 10 days with the tonsillectomy. I am 26 years old. I am just curious, has anyone just let it wear off using nothing else? How long until the dizziness just goes away on its own? I really wish I would have known about this withdrawl stuff because I wouldnt have ever used the patches. DO NOT USE THE PATCH, THE WITHDRAWL IS TERRIBLE!!!!!
My husband had the Transderm Scop Patch on for a total of one mo.,due to the fact that when he removed it he would have dizziness & nausea. One week ago he removed it for 48 hrs. and had vertigo & severe nausea. He then had a sudden loss of memory, went to hosp.via ambulance and spent 2 days having MRI,CT,numerous other testing and was diagnosed with Transient Global Amnesia. Fortunately memory returns in 24-48 hrs. but he still has symptoms of dizziness and headaches. He will be seen by his neurologist again tomorrow and the memory of those 24-48 hr.s will not return. (from what I understand). Has anyone else experienced this? Not sure is this is from the patch, but seems too great a coincidence to not be related. P.S. He is otherwise a very healthy 64 yr. old.
I was suddenly stricken with severe dizziness November 17 while at work. I was taken to the ER and after checking vitals and my heart, a CT scan was performed for brain abnormalities. All tests were normal I was perscribed Antivert and was sent home with "Vertigo".
A week later the dizziness reappeared and slowly built in severity over the next few days. One morning the severe dizziness reappeared and I was off the the ER again. The symptoms disappeared in one hour and again I was sent home. Over the next several weeks my symptoms came and went. My doctor perscribed the scop patch and within three hours of applying the patch it was as if a light switch had been switched off and my symptoms were gone.
I continued to use the patch as I was given a complete physical, MRI, sent to a nureologist, eye ear nose and throat, opthamologist and sleep specialist. All of this testing failed to find the cause of the dizziness. However I was pleased to find out that except for the dizziness I was healthy as could be.
I read all I could about the vestibular system and proceeded to try to cure myself. I removed the patch when I felt "good" and the next day about 16 to 20 hours later the symptoms returned yet with a strange twist. Along with the dizziness intense anxiety suddenly came over me to the point of complete panic and confusion. I reapplied the patch and again within three hours the light switch turned off and I was symptom free. I assumed that the Vertigo was still with me and I continued this pattern for a couple of weeks until I came across this site.
My plan was to use the high dose Antivert method Mary used. I chose a Friday and removed the patch. I felt fine all day Friday, Saturday morning I began the Antivert buy only 25 Mg. I took 25 Mg every six hours and felt ok but very tired. Saturday night I felt fine so I decided to not take it unless I felt lousy. To my surprise I felt fine all day Sunday until the evening so I took another 25 Mg. Monday I was ok most of the day with minor bouts of dizziness but not enough to warent more Antivet. Over the next few days the number and severity of dizzy spells decreased to the point where now I am confident that I am almost 100%.
Although I experienced some withdrawl symptoms from the patch it was not nearly as severe as some of you. I pray that you will soon be healed and can put this behind you.
It seems to me that everyone reacts different to the removal of the patch. For me it wasn't too bad but not something I would wish on anyone. Gook luck to all and God Bless.
I had the exact same results with the patch. I wore it for a cruise, it did wonders. However, I am an RN and when I took that patch off I was in the middle of a shift and it hit me hard! Thank God the ER nurse knew exactly what was going on. She had heard of the withdrawls, she also knew there was very little we could do about it. I took some compazine and the symptoms subsided about a day later. This patch needs to be reconfigured medically or removed all together.
Just a warning. If you have a stomach ulcer or GI problems, careful with Meclazine. I took 25mg last night at 6pm, then 11pm, then 5am this morning. By 5:30am my stomach was burning. I took my normal Nexium. Then I took a Pepcid AC. About an hour later I took another one, and I still had no relief. It's a little better now after several doses of Mylanta. On the bright side, I am not nauseous. The burning stomach is really bad though, and I've had about eight burning bowel movements today. If you have GI problems, you might want to try the compazine. I just took a Zantac 150 at the advice of my GI doc, and hopefully that will take care of it.
Has anyone tried using Scopace (pill form of Scopolomine) to withdraw from the patch. Sopace is .4mg compared to the patch which is 1.5mg. Starting with two pills or .8mg then reduce to one pill or .4mg and so on.
This is making me nervous. I'm going on an offshore sailing trip (on a 45 ft boat) this coming weekend. My doc gave me the scop patch and said I would only need to wear one bc the trip is just short of three days. I am petrified of getting seasick so I was planning on wearing just one patch for the three day trip. Now I'm torn because I don't want to avoid sea-sickness just to get sick when I get back to shore! It sounds like many of you wore more than 1 or 2 patches.... does anyone have any ideas for me?
I was given the Scopolamine patch before a surgical procedure on Tuesday, and when I woke up from the anesthesia (conscious sedation), I thought that patch was the best thing that ever happened to me. A little dry mouth? A little fuzziness? No big deal -- way better than urping my guts out, right? Ha! 30 hours later I took it off (well within the 24- to 48-hour range suggested by the nurse who applied it), and progressively got more and more light-headed to the point where I couldn't do anything. It was awful whether I was sitting, standing, or lying down. By Thursday night I thought I'd never regain my equilibrium again. I started to panic. I went to Urgent Care and showed the information about Meclizine (above) to the doctor and discussed it with her. She prescribed it, but for me it brought no relief. After three calls to nurses on Friday, I finally went to the ER. The doc there was doubtful about the cause being Scopolamine (I wasn't...), but she treated me with IV fluids and IV Zofran, sending me home with a prescription for 4mg Zofran every 8 hours. Well, it's Saturday night and I've had an almost normal day! I'm hopeful that the worst is behind me. Thank you all for posting your experiences -- it was helpful just to know that I wasn't the only person out there to experience this.
My husband also had severe withdrawal from the scopolamine patch. He wore the patch for three weeks. Within 24 hours after removing the patch, he had severe nausea that didn't let up after four days. His doctors told us to wean off the patch this way: Put a band-aid over 1/4 of the patch first, after 3 days put the band-aid over 1/2 of the patch, then after the next three days cover 3/4 of the patch. It took a little over a week but it worked great! He felt a little nauseous the first day with no patch and did throw up once, but this only lasted a day and then he felt fine. Good luck to all!
I want to share my experience with the Scop Trans Patch. I had shoulder surgery on Oct. 8th, 2010. The surgeon had placed a patch behind my ear due to my history of post-surgery nausea. On day 4 after surgery I became nauseated and the doctor prescribed more Scop Patches. Of course everytime 4 days lapsed I would become nauseated again. Thank God I found this site and the answer to the horrible existence I have been living with for over a month. Last night I copied Mary's instructions on using meclizine to get over the nausea. I took two 50 mg doses last night,one at 4 P.M., one at 10 P.M., then one at 2 A.M. and another at 8 A.M. and still felt absolutely wretched with queasy stomach and headache. At 10:30 I took 2 Ibuprofen (normally I take alleve, but because of the 12 hour gap I switched) and it was as if someone flipped a switch on me!! I feel weak, but I have bathed, made lunch and cleaned the kitchen. That's more than I have accomplished in the last 5 days combined.
So to recap, I was on the patch a little over a month and was cold turkey about 4 days when I started Mary's detox program, and in less than 24 hours I feel 80% better. Don't give up everyone. I think we will each be a bit different on how long it takes, but keep the faith and take something to treat the headache if you have one. From now on I will be very careful about what drugs I put in my body. You just never know in what way it may change your life. It's time for my next does..........
Good luck everyone and THANK YOU MARY!!
Someone PLEASE HELP!!!
I went on a 7 day cruise on October 29th, and am STILL having horrible symptoms today? Could it be Mal de Debarquement or scopolomine withdrawals, and how can I get stubborn doctors to listen???
When I first got back, I had horrible migraines. Symptoms now include: vision that hasn't recovered, (trouble focusing, floaters, specks of light showing up in my vision, less peripheral vision), muscle twitching, EXTREME fatigue, depression, tightness in the neck, head, and shoulders, facial numbness, numbness of the fingers and toes, dizziness, confusion, occasional ear-ringing.
If anyone has these same symptoms, PLEASE PLEASE let me know. I'm really scared and miserable.
Maybe try the methods mentioned above using motion sickness pills... it takes time- without using pills it took me nearly a year to get right and after 16 months I have brief bouts of feeling not right. Hang in there! It will work its way out of your system. Don't get discouraged. It is frustrating I know.
I was prescribed the patch for nausea, I have been suffering with vertigo for over 25 years. I placed the patch on at 10 pm and by morning when i got out of bed, I stumbled all over the place with no equilibrium whatsoever, instantly I snatched the patch off the back of my ear. I took Meclizine and slept all that day, two days later I had debilitating dizziness and severe nausea and extreeme pressure in my head, PCP said "no" never heard of withdrawls he said it is actually prescribed for that reason, ENT said "no" he has never heard of the patch, not one complaint. I went home miserable and crying (I am an outside sales professional) not able to do anything except lie on my couch all day!!! I became soooo angry at all my doctors for their ignorance and stubborness!! I have suffered with vertigo for more than half my life but I was functioning, have held very reputable positions and have always been very proud that I accomplished all this with this disability.
However since Feb 1 (since applying the patch) something went terribly wrong, I knew this was not my usual vertigo, I normally can take meclizine and feel better a day or so later.
I started researching this patch I went on askapatient.com and I started crying, I could not believe what I was reading. the dizziness, the nausea, the equilibruim issues, the anxiety....all of it was exactly what I have been feeling since the patch.
it has been 17 days now, I still cannot drive, I still sit on the couch, headaches started yesterday, and just an ill abnormal feeling in my head. I decided I am going to advocate and not allow one more doctor to write a prescription for this poison, I will fight and fight even if I have to stand at local hospital's door and warn patients one by one I will. One day some idiot, ignorant doctor might prescribe this to our children, I am not angry at thier ignorance, but I am angry at how they excuse it by making us feel stupid as if we do not know our own bodies. I thank you all for being very strong, I know how you feel vertigo is debilitating, I pray we all feel better and that we heal through God's intervention(good luck trying to get medical intervention). If you are interested in helping me fight this drug, please e-mail me at q_t_pie197133***@****
Thanks for all the comments and advice. I am 7 weeks post op from thoracic outlet surgery. I was given a patch the night before the surgery and have been changing it out every three days as directed. I am also on oxycontin, percocet, robaxin....It has been a horrid recovery time and I am so tired of all the meds and the groggy, foggy feeling. I stopped the oxycontin, taking less of the percocet, continuing the robaxin. Today I took off my scop patch. I am concerned that after reading this info I will have a reaction as others have. Nothing Yet..Praise God....Does anyone have any info on how the meclizine may affect other drugs such as muscle relaxers and narcotics? I have been told the meds I am on are necessary for my recovery, however, I do not like the feelings of the drugs and will painfully recover if necessary. Thanks....
I took transderm scop patches for my 9 day cruise (3 patches). 10 hours after removal of the last patch I almost immediately felt nausea, dizziness and headache. I was sick for 10 days with extreme nausea and headache. 5 weeks have past and I am still not feeling normal. I am still very tired and sleepy. I went to my ENT twice regarding this and was told it is withdrawal symptoms from transderm scop patches. I will never go on the patch again.
Are there any recent updates to help get off the scopalamine patch. I've been using one for 1 1/2 yrs. I have tried several times to get off of it, but I'm unable to cope with the severe nausea that accompanies the withdrawal. The nausea is incapacitating.
Tracemaster, It's been over a year since you posted. Hope you see this. Your symptoms are similar to mine except mine are pretty much restricted to my left side - the opposite side of where the patch was - a month after removing the patch. How are you feeling 12 months later?
I feel that I've finally figured out how to manage the scopolomine patch, no real thanks to my doctor or pharmacist. Both were clueless & claimed they had never heard of withdrawal problems before. (Right!) The first time I used the patch, I did the first full patch as directed, and when I took it off 3 days later, I got so badly motion sick within 24 hours that I couldn't move without feeling like I would vomit. My doctor had me cut the patch in half & try that. Again I was sick after taking it off 3 days later. So I tried an experiment (with my doctor's blessing). I started with half a patch for the next vacation. Left that on the whole week we were gone and continued wearing it for about 3 days after we returned. Then I took the half patch off & put on a quarter patch and left that for about another 10 days. When I took the quarter patch off, I had no motion sickness symptoms at all. My idea was to let the medicine basically wear itselt out, and I truly think that worked. I would definitely use the patch again, now that I know "one size does not fit all"!
WOW. I had an Umbilical Hernia Repair on Jan 26th. They put a Scopalamine patch on just before I went in and said keep on up to 72 hrs to prevent post op n/v.
I took it off Saturday morning and later that day I started to experience dizziness and intermittent nausea. I quickly Googled Scopalamine, saw something about rebound and figured I would feel better in about 24 hours.
Its Monday now, I still feel "floaty"...thought maybe I was dehydrated. I have required very little pain med, last dose was 1 Norco Saturday night. Had 1/2 on Thurs and 1 on Fri so not a lot.
With the nausea I never have to vomit, it is just a feeling. It does not prevent me from eating or drinking.
So this morning I felt well enough to drive my 5 year old 2 miles to school WHEW! I felt like I was an impaired driver. I wasn't swerving or anything, I went through the neighborhood, no major highways, no speed limits >30.
I felt uneasy though, especially on my way home.
So talked to another nurse friend who had used this surgeon. She did a more in depth search of the Scop and told me I am having w/d symptoms.
I then conducted my own Google search and found this forum.
CRAZY!! I am a RN and use to work Recovery Room and our docs never used Scopalamine,. My mom kept saying to take it off immediate post op, said they use to use it in OB and it would make women crazy.....should've listened to mom!
Well. I am praying and believing this will resolve before I go back to work in 10 days. I am going to look up some of those Vestibular Rehab exercises and do them.
Scopolamine should be taken off the market!!!! Shame on the Anesthesiologists who prescribe it, they ought to try it themselves or give it to a family member.
God bless everyone going through this.
My husband and I went on a 5 day cruise and both wore the patch, replacing it after 3 days, us each using 2 patches in total. We felt totally fine on the cruise and were grateful for them, then. But, and there's a BIG but to that. We both took them off the day of our arriving home in the morning. He first experienced nausea and fatigue that evening, which lasted until the next day, and was pretty much gone by day two of removal.
I am a different case. My nausea also started that night, but the next day I woke up, I thought I was going insane, couldn't get my emotions under control, had an extreme upset stomach, shaking, anxiety and extreme tiredness. It has now been 3 days, and I am still battling with these symptoms, although lessened some, they are still all there, making it very difficult to get through the day.
I haven't taken anything except ginger root pills for the nausea. I am not one who is big on taking synthetic medicines and would rather just get through this awful time 'cold turkey'. But from what i've read, it could take awhile. I just want to feel normal again.
I wish I had been warned about this withdrawal challenge and I wish I HAD NEVER USED THE PATCH!!!
I feel for you Jen. You have my withdrawal reaction. I had recurring bouts of weirdness for 1 1/2 years with the episodes of brief anxiety, out of body feeling being further spaced mostly months apart. Then had some mild depression for 9-12 months. Seriously took me 2+ years to feel totally normal. Don't be tempted to treat this with more meds. Just see it through and know that you will get better.
Has anyone tied the scopolamine patch to alleviate depression? I have been on so many different anti-depressants for over 15 years; nothing alleviates it. I heard that many people have had relief from the patch when no other drugs seem to work, but I am scared to try it after reading the posts above. Please let me know if you have tried this patch to alleviate depression and what your results were/are. Thank you.
I just got back from a 7 day cruise. The last day was very choppy so I put on a patch for less than 24 hours. I took it off on the car ride home. It probably took about 3 or 4 hours for the symptoms to appear. I was dizzy and my vision got so blurry. I can see far, with my contacts but nothing close up. IT has been 24 hours now and the symptoms have not improved. I went to the ER because I thought I was suffering from Carbon Monoxide poisoning. It was the ER physician who said it sounded like side effects from Scopolamine. I have not felt nauseous and do not have a headache which is strange because everything gives me a headache. The worst part of this is the blurred vision. I also feel shaky and twitchy. Really very strange!
I so wish I had looked up withdrawals from this terrible drug prior to the first application. I have a different reason for starting the patch. I heard an NPR report that Scopolamine could be the answer to people who do not respond to the traditional anti-depressent drugs. I used this patch for 11 days, changing it every 3. Around the 9th day, my pupils were dilated twice the normal size and I had difficulty thinking. I knew right away it was the patch. I discontinued it this past Wednesday and felt okay until Friday morning. I began feeling extremely depressed, agitated and then had my first full-blown panic attack. I contacted my doctor and he recommended I reapply the patch and thought that either leaving it on for several days until the medicine wore off, or to cut the patch in half. I continued reading posts on this site and tried the band-aid method but ended up taking it off a couple of hours later. The weekend has been a nightmare of depression. Depression much worse than I can remember having prior to the Scopolamine. I searched for information all weekend on this drug and stumbled on a documentary made in Colombia - Devil's Breath. This is a horrible drug and I can't believe it has FDA approval. I am so worried I will never get over this depression and I have to work tomorrow. I see that you posted your comment a couple of years ago. Did your depression take a long time to get over?
I also used this patch and had horrible withdrawals. I spent this past weekend researching withdrawals from Scopolamine as I could do barely anything except lie on my bed hoping the worst case of depression and anxiety would end. Here's something interesting I stumbled on in my search. Sounds like your husband's nightmare:
I just also returned from a 7-day cruise using the Transderm scop and was rushed to the ER from home 24 hrs after removing the patch. Had a CATscan & spinal tap to show nothing wrong in my brain. I had no dizziness, but very tired & sleeping a lot. Feels like I have a sack of flour to carry around on my back every day. Small headaches come & go, but I think I am on the mend. Haven't heard what my doctor thinks yet! I've used patches before, but this is the 1st time - they must have changed the dosage or something in it!!! Will NEVER use these again - scared me to death!
I was given the scopolamine patch for vertigo symptoms I had been experiencing (mild-severe/mild). I took the patch 3 days, removed it and put on another and wore that for 1 day. It made me feel really weird, my pupils were dialated, and I couldn't think straight at work so I took it off. About 12 hours later I felt horrible! I was dizzy and so nauseous, plus I had the shakes really bad - also I couldn't eat at all. My dizziness was twice as bad as when I put the patch on. So I had to stay home from work for two days (to begin with) and the second day I tried to drive to the store and got really dizzy and sick. I came home and the next morning I tried to drive to work and was horribly dizzy and nauseous, got sick and shaky and just felt so horrible. I drive 50 miles to work, so this is a huge problem for me and now I'm looking at possible short- or long-term leave. My symptoms were nothing like this before I took this patch and even while I was wearing it. There is no other explanation for what is happening to me, especially from what I've been reading on here an other sites. I'm going to try the meclizine, even though it's a bit much for me, I have to try to recover from this. This drug should NEVER be sold.
I had the same side effects most of you list 24 hours after taking off the patch- extreme nauseousness (lying on the floor trying to stop the motion and wishing I could just throw up - no waves, just the worst nauseous I've ever been, blurred vision, dizziness, shaky, mental confusion, trouble making sentences. I am so grateful you all posted this cause my dr had never heard of scopolamine withdrawal. Urgent care agreed with your weaning schedule, so i did 2 bonine 3xd for 72 hours, 1 bonine 3xd for 72 hours, 1 bonine 2xd for 48 and then off. The bonine made me tired, but i was releaved of the nauseousness within an hour and all the other symptoms as the week went on. I can't believe what all of you went through, with MRIs and seizure meds, etc. I'm wondering if I can use this again and control it, or if I'm taking a chance. If I know how to wean in advance, can it be controlled? I'm kind of scared to try!
My wife is now dealing with withdrawal symptoms. She stated the patch on Nov 10 for a cruise, and took it odd on Nov 18. She's been very dizzy for the past two days, within some mild headache. Today I convinced her to start meclizine step down (she didn't want to start at such a high dose). We'll see how we'll that works.
I used the scopolopine patch for approx. 1 1/2 days when I recently had to fly with a flu which caused nausea. I couldn't keep my eyes open for the almost 24 hours of travel time and when forced to wake up at my arrival destination, realized I had light sensitivity visually, blurred and diminished vision and related nausea and dizziness. I left the patch on part way through my first night at home and awoke with my eyes so dry through the shut lids that I had to apply drops throughout the night to lubricate them. I also had significant pain in the back of my head extending to behind my eyes. I removed the patch, now wondering if it was contributing or actually causing my symptoms. The next day I had no option but to go to work and had to wear magnifying glasses to see the extremely large computer screen that I've never had trouble seeing before. I went to an opthamologist the next day and was told my vision (both near and far) had dramatically decreased and my intraocular pressures (think glaucoma) were elevated bilaterally. He felt it was related to the use of the patch and said with me being a lower weight, the dose would have been too strong (there is no option to get a smaller dose) and he said my being fair skinned and blue eyed predisposes me to side effects with the patch. It has been 8 days since I removed the patch and while my intraocular pressures are improving, the blurred and poor vision remains. Now the opthamologist wants blood work done and feels the symptoms are likely no longer related to the patch. It seems pretty coincidental that all these issues occurred after using the patch. I am now out of pocket for two opthamologist appts, about to see a FD and a bunch of blood work, not to mention the horrendous feeling of having everything blurred around me. You couldn't pay me enough to use this patch again.
I was given this patch on 1/25 to prevent nausea after gallbladder surgery. Never got sick- but my LAP "you will feel great in 2 days" surgery took a different path. Took the patch off after wearing for 72 hours. I was stoned and weak and pale as a ghost (one of it's side effects is pallor). My mouth was dry as a bone. Pupils like saucers. Saw my surgeon the day after I took off the patch and I was doing better. Then the next day hit and I just went down hill. Horrific headache- which I still have. Blurred vision- also still happening. I had to see 2 doctors who are not saying much and now on for another eye exam- which I had right before surgery. Here's a bit more to this story. I take 0.5MG of klonopin each night for sleep. These drugs metabolize through the liver on the same enzyme. So it creates an overdose effect. I have now cut the klonopin in 1/2 and will stay on that. Anymore and this anti anxiety medication now brings on horrific anxiety attacks. I can't drink any caffeine as it starts me shaking. This is from the bellandonna plant and it is a powerful narcotic. Surgeons like it because it stops dreaming- completely -only other thing that does that is a lobotomy. So no surgical nightmares and the lack of saliva makes it easier to keep you aspirated during surgery. I spoke to the manufacturer and they only wanted to know my experience so they could share with the research lab. No answers. This site saved me. Thought the worst was going on from the surgery. Bad drug.
I have used the scopolamine patch for many years (Scopolamine was also in pill form for a few years and that was much better and cheaper.) and I am a big fan. I could not have done any of the travel I have done without it. However, I have had one serious withdrawal episode. It was a few years ago when I wore a patch for three continuous weeks while in Australia. When I returned home I ripped the patch off and suffered the extreme dizziness and nusea that others have described. I went to bed for three days and did not move. Since that time, I have never worn the patch for an extended period of time and I never take the patch off as soon as my trip ends or when the three operative days for the patch are up. Instead, I leave the patch on for weeks on the theory that there is some residual medication and I let it titter itself out. That seems to do the trick for me. I have had no serious withdrawal symptoms after that one experience and I use the patch for a week or less about twice a year. I have had some sight equilibrium problems, but nothing serious enough to keep me from my usual routines. Really just a slight dizziness when I stand up quickly after being stationary for a long period of tiime (like when I get out of bed in the morning). Everybody is different. For me, using two patches over 7-10 days is fine as long as I leave that last patch on for a week or more.
Hi everyone. I actually DO have Mal de Debarquement Syndroms (MdDS), but I also had issues with the scopalomine patch. My last episode of MdDS started because I flew in an airplane, and because there is no cure for MdDS, my doctor asked if I'd tried the patch. I hadn't, and I've tried just about everything for MdDS. So I tried the patch. I had watery vision and felt strange the whole time, and then I had trouble getting off it. I noticed my scopalomine reaction was less by day 3, so I just left the patch on. I noticed someone else on here did the same thing. I too felt there must be some medication left in the patch after 3 days, and that worked to wean me off. Of course, once I was off the patch, my MdDS symptoms kicked into high gear, but that's a different story.
(For Mal de Debarquement sufferers out there who may be reading this, I've been told to bring a prednisone/medrol dose pack with you while traveling, and to start the pack at the first sign of symptoms. It may be autoimmune and/or related to migraines, and the prednisone has helped some people end their episodes if they have episodic - not constant - MdDS),
After reading all of these stories about withdrawal from the scop patch I realized that is exactly what I am going through. I had surgery for a hysterectomy on April 16th and was given the patch in the hospital to control severe nausea and vomiting. Unfortunately no one told me to take it off so I left it on for 4 days( I actually forgot it was there until I was washing my neck and found it there) Within 24 hrs of taking it off I was extremely sick so my husband called my doctor and he ordered more. Again wore the patch for 3 days and again within 24 hrs of removing was violently ill with nausea, vomiting, sweats, shakiness, and I was pale as a ghost. So of course I put another one on and now am afraid to remove it. I am only 100 lbs and already have lost 4 lbs after surgery as my appetite is awful. I'm worried if I suffer out the withdrawal I will lose even more weight. My doctor says he has never heard of someone getting sick after taking the patch off. I don't know if I should try meclizine or simply keep the patch on until it loses all its strength, or maybe both? Any ideas? I've already been helpless around the house for 2 weeks and don't want to be debilitated any longer.
I am so grateful for this forum - thought I was losing my mind, had a sinus infection or pancreatic cancer! I will NEVER go on another cruise - this withdrawal is horrific. Thanks for the heads up about anti-vert - will now call my MD and request it. God bless you all!
Wanted to post my experience in case it can help someone else...
I wore the patch for 8 days while on vacation at Disney due to my motion sickness with roller coasters, etc. Started feeling sick about 18 hours after taking the patch off. Major headache, and nausea (but no vomiting). Found this forum and started following Mary's plan of a Meclizine taper. I already had some Bonine so I used that (contains 25 mg Meclizine). Two Bonine every 6 hours for about a day. I was feeling better about 12 hours after taking the first dose. After 24 hours I was feeling much better. So then I was able to drop to one Bonine every 8 hours...only did a couple of those before I was able to stop completely. Feeling back to normal now.
So the taper period is probably different for everybody, but the general idea seems to work for some. Good luck to all.
last night I stupidly put on 2 patches 1 behind each ear, because I felt a little dizzy... I took them off about 2 hours later because the sight of the patch was itching me....I must have touched my eye with the same fingers that took off the patch on my left ear... about 1/2 hour later my vision was blurred in my left eye. I was worried of course.. I went to the bathroom mirror and looked at my left eye it was totally dilated.... I hope this is temporary. As a rule I do not use the patches, I use Meclazine, as needed only.
last night I stupidly put on 2 patches 1 behind each ear, because I felt a little dizzy... I took them off about 2 hours later because the sight of the patch was itching me....I must have touched my eye with the same fingers that took off the patch on my left ear... about 1/2 hour later my vision was blurred in my left eye. I was worried of course.. I went to the bathroom mirror and looked at my left eye it was totally dilated.... I hope this is temporary. As a rule I do not use the patches, I use Meclazine, as needed only.
Put my first patch on last year for a disney cruise..it worked wonders, and after about 26 or so hours of taking it off, I felt slightly off, a little nauseated, like I was coming down with something. That only lasted for the remainder of that evening. Fast forward to this past weekend. Used another patch...took it off Monday morning, felt great until tuesday afternoon.....nausea/dizziness/shortness of breath/fast heartbeat all hit really suddenly. It was terrible! Thank God my sister suffers from vertigo and told me to take some bonine because it has meclazine in it. So i popped two bonine and went to bed (although it took a while for it to kick in). Today is thursday and I need to keep taking 25mg about every 4 hours, or the dizziness/nausea come right back. This is terrible! I will never, ever take this patch again. I will say out of the five of us who used the patch, I am the only one who got this side effect, go figure! I am hoping that I will eventually be able to get off the meclazine, as it makes me feel very foggy and slow. Please, please stay away from the patch!!
I wore the patch for 7 days and since taking it off, I have had constant diarrhea, nausea and stomach cramps. I was dizzy for the first 3-4 days but that passed and now it's been almost two weeks with the other symptoms and no relief. Has anyone else had this side effect? I should mention that while on the patch, I had trouble going to the bathroom. I don't think this could be a virus since it's lasting so long. Any thoughts?
I just used this patch for a 25 hour flight- I had it on for a total of about 40 hours or so, I took it off last night before I went to bed at my destination. I have severe emetophobia (phobia of nausea and vomiting) and I wish I had researched the side effects after removal better before I decided on taking it. It's been about 12 hours since I removed it and I feel fine, but I am absolutely terrified of developing nausea and/or vomiting in a few hours due to withdrawals. That is something that would absolutely traumatize me. In anyone's experience, are the withdrawal symptoms lessened for people who have only used the patch once as opposed to those of you who have taken it many times in a row? I also have tons of meclizine, when should I begin taking that to try and avoid the nausea altogether?
I have read through so much of this thread and can relate so much!! But from what I am reading this has all been short term use of the patch. Is there any experience with people who have been on it long term? I was prescribed this patch back in February of 2013. It was prescribed to help treat my nausea. Yep it helps, and if only I knew then what just 1 patch could do, I would have never used it. I used it every 3 days for about 5-6 weeks, when I was having surgery to replace a gastric stimulator, which would help ease my nausea enough to make life livable. So we took the patch off right before the surgery. I have never been so sick, If I even moved my eyes within the socket with my eyes shut, I would dry heave and vomit. They put the patch back on, and so much iv Zofran. Thought it was just from the surgery meds and spinal meds etc. So any time I tried to remove the patch, or forgot to put on after showering etc I would start getting sick within a few hours. By 3-4 hours I can hardly keep my eyes open or hold my head up I am so sick, nauseated, head ache. etc. I have thought all along it is just my illness nausea. Wearing the patch does dilate my eyes, blurry vision most of the time. Hard to really focus, especially small print. Last few months the skin behind my ears has been breaking out so bad. The patch adhesive/med just itches horrendously. Skin is broken out, weepy and crusts over. Both ears affected so bad, right now using a steroid cream to to help clear it up. Spoke to my GI who prescribed this med to me nearly a year and a half ago..... We decided it was time to stop the patch. She prescribed IV Zofran, which I could use thru my port. We would do a dose or so of iv Zofran and then remove the patch in the evening. Did that Friday. Just an hour into it my leg began itching horribly, small rash itched bad during night too. Woke a few times during the night, nausea there but not too bad. At 5:25 am my husband gave me 4mg iv Zofran. Helped a bit. by 10 am, I was horrible. Nauseas, couldn't lift my head off the pillow hardly. Hot and cold, sweating, freezing and head ache. Did another dose iv Zofran at 11:25. Started vomiting at 11:27. Continued all thru the afternoon. Had to unhook my tpn early, couldn't keep getting up to use the bathroom anymore. Called my infusion company, spoke to my pharmacist about increasing the iv Zofran. She had to call my Dr, or the Dr on call to get an order. He wouldn't okay it, said that dose should be enough to control it. Advised me to go to the ER. Before starting this, my GI Dr, local pharmacist and infusion company pharmacist have not heard of withdrawal from the scop patch. Nor the arrogant ER DR. At 6 pm the ER gave me 8 mg IV Zofran. It helped take the vomiting away, but still severe nausea and head ache. Dr comes back in says slap another patch on, that is just a little contact dermatitis. Wow! Yes I live in a small town, but wow! Then asks do I want to be admitted or what. My husband and I decided to go home and do some more research and yes I slapped another patch on. We were able to increase my iv Zofran to 4 mg every 4 hours. That helped after 3 hours with the patch on I could lift my head off my pillow for a few minutes. Still have the patch on, still needing the Zofran. I am terrified to start over again after having used this patch for so long. Has anyone used this medication for this long and been successful at coming off? I totally agree, it should not be FDA approved for anything.... and the first Physician Assistant that prescribed it for me, should not have been able to prescribe it.... Is there any hope for me?
It is good to get a physician's perspective on the use of the patch. Unlike many of the comments on this site, I used the patch for relief of major dizziness and nausea, to the point that I couldn't take my head off the pillow. Just going to the bathroom took a tremendous amount of effort since the "recovery" to get myself past the horrible throbbing head and nausea often took 2 hours. No one seems to have any explanation for my condition. The patch has been a life saver. Unfortunately, like others posting, I can't seem to live without it now. How bad is the medication in the patch. I don't have any signs of anxiety, depression, etc. when I have the patch on. Just feel awful when I take it off. I hope you are still visiting this site and will give me insight!
I started the patch three cycles ago. I was on meclinzine before. But was up to taking 150mg daily. Way too much. . The patch is working great. But i did notice that I removed it last night.72 hour limit. And forgot to replace it with new one. Well it didn't take long for my vertigo and labrynthitis to kick back in today.. But as soon as I put new patch on within a few hours the dizziness and nauseas has lessened..
I too got "tricked" into becoming patch dependent. I was given one preoperativley for a laparoscopic surgery about a month ago, then when I returned home, a few days later, the nausea returned with a vengeance. I innocently asked my Dr. for a refill on the patch and here I am one month later.
I have tried more than once to get off this evil patch with the same hellish symptoms posted above by everyone else, only to have to put another patch back on. One incident was so frightening I almost called an ambulance. Well I am posting today because I removed my patch yesterday (Friday) at 11 am and have experienced NO nausea since then. Thanks be to God. I am now past the 24 hour mark as I write this (it is 4:30 pm on Saturday afternoon).
I felt only slightly "off" before bed (about 8 hours post removal), so I didn't take the full 50 mg Meclizine. I decided only to take the 25mg dose. I woke up feeling a little but hungover (tired,heavy headed), but no nausea. I managed to take a shower and cook breakfast for my family. About 10am, I decided to go ahead and take the 50mg dose of Meclizine because I felt in my gut the nausea was headed my way. I laid down 30 minutes later because I started feeling sleepy. I slept all afternoon, through lunch, and awoke at 4pm and I feel relatively normal! Hungry, but not nauseous.
I plan to take another 50 mg before going to sleep tonight. I will let everyone know how it goes.
I just wanted to say that this patch is evil, I will never be using one again, and I CANNOT WAIT until I am a few days out from it. I will post updates. I was so grateful for everyone else's as I researched the best way to get off this thing.
Just wanted to post an update. I only took two 50mg doses of Meclizine on Saturday - one in the morning, and one in the evening - after ripping the patch off "cold turkey" on Friday at lunch. On Sunday, I awoke and took a 25mg dose. I felt slightly off in my head but not nauseous all day long. I took one last 25 mg dose before bed and WOKE UP MONDAY FEELING NORMAL!
I am so excited to be done with this mess. There you have it, folks. You too can be off this patch in only 2 days. With no nausea !
Hi Gina, hope I can still reach you so many years later. I had surgery 6 weeks ago and cannot get off scopolamine, causes unbearable nausea. Wish they never had put me on it. Do you think weaning the patch size would help getting rid of it? Or should I play with the length?
Thanks so much,
What kind of cream/steroid did you use to try to clear up the skin behind your ears??
My boyfriend is having the same problem with the skin behind his ears too and has been using just regular otc hydrocortisone cream.
I used the patch for an 11-day cruise and experienced the same side effects 24 hours after removing the patch. It was awful and I thought I may have caught something while being oversees. I'm so grateful I found this discussion as it put my mind at ease. What really helped for me was wearing Sea Bands. I didn't want to take more medication so the Sea Bands were a safe and effective way to manage my symptoms. I wore them for 2-3 days and found that I no longer felt ill. I hope this tip will help someone suffering from the side effects post the patch.
Thank God for this forum and all of you! I just returned from a vacation with my wife, 3 yr old son, and sister-in-law. I took my last patch off early Tues afternoon. By Wed afternoon I was beginning to feel "off." On our bus ride to the airport late that afternoon I was really feeling bad. I was sweating bullets on an air conditioned bus and had severe motion sickness (even though buses NEVER bother me). I literally threw up within a minute or two of getting off the bus - thank God the bathrooms were right inside the airport doors. The flight home was terrible - I barely avoided throwing up. As soon as we got to my father-in-laws house (he picked us up) to get our vehicle I threw up (20 minutes from airport), as soon as we got home (another 20-30 min ride) I threw up again! Equilibrium off all night and still today, just walking around makes me a lil naseous. Without this forum I would still be wondering if I was experiencing withdrawal or something else?! I call my dr office (the one's who prescribed it) and two hours later still hadn't heard back! Called back and actually got a call back within 20 min - with ALL my info wrong! They had no flippin idea! This is ridiculous! Drs. prescribe a drug that can have such severe withdrawal symptoms AND they aren't even familiar with them - how the hell is that doing your profession due diligence?!
I am currently going through this horrible patch withdrawal. I used the patch every 3 days for a 14 day cruise. Knowing about the patch withdrawal, I tapered down by covering 1/3 of the patch with a band aid, 3 days later covering 2/3. After 3 days, I removed the patch completely. By the next afternoon, I was completely incapacitated. Dizzy and nauseous when standing. In addition, I feel so depressed and anxiety ridden...like an impending sense of doom. I have already missed nearly a week of work, which I am sure is contributing to my anxiety. I am currently taking Meclazine...25 MG's 3 times a day, but based on what I am reading, may need to increase that. No one tells you about what can happen after using this drug. I can understand maybe feeling a bit under the weather, but this is extreme. So hard to explain exactly what I am feeling. It is overwhelming. Trying to avoid taking anti-depressants on top of all of this, but feeling so nervous and depressed. The patch works like a charm to avoid motion sickness, but the price you pay after is not worth it. I love cruising but suffer from severe motion sickness. This patch allowed me to enjoy a wonderful vacation, but never again. This is a dangerous drug and the after effects are debilitating. Stay away from the Scope Patch!
I left it on for 5 days and developed a horrible rash behind my ear that took 2 weeks to heal. I too am an RN and have experienced the same symptoms as described above only I thought it was a reaction to anesthesia vs the scopolamine patch. After being referred to an ENT and being told I had migraines and was told to "take off my nurses hat" (when I questioned why the symptoms only occurred after surgery), I decided to research on my own BEFORE having another $1K MRI. Glad I did because I thought I was going crazy and have been off work for 2 months. The Meclizine and Zofran weaned me off the patch and physical therapy helped the vertigo but I'm still having problems focusing my eyes and with occasional slight vertigo. I have an eye doctor appointment next week and have cut my sodium intake. Sooooo glad I decided to research scopolamine withdrawal and found I'm not the only one. The anxiety and depression are very real and sadly not taken seriously by health care providers. I'll be sending this to my physicians in hopes of educating them.
Copyright 1994-2016 MedHelp International. All rights reserved.
MedHelp is a division of Aptus Health.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.