Nausea prophylaxis using transdermal scopolamine in the setting of patient- controlled analgesia

Stephen N. Harris, Ferne B. Sevarino, Raymond S. Sinatra, Linda Preble, Theresa Z. O’Connor, David G. Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We evaluated the effectiveness of transdermal scopolamine in patients receiving morphine via patient-controlled intravenous analgesia following intra-abdominal gynecologic surgery. Soon after arrival in the post-anesthesia recovery unit (time 0), patients were randomized either to receive or not receive a postauricular transdermal scopolamine patch. Nausea and vomiting were scored on a 0–3 scale at this time and at 2, 4, 6, and 24 hours. Patients were treated with droperidol as deemed necessary by the primary care nurse. Within 2–4 hours, transdermal scopolamine patients evidenced less nausea and vomiting and required less droperidol than their counterparts who did not receive transdermal scopolamine. A significant decline in the severity of nausea was noted in the transdermal scopolamine group between 2–24 hours; significant inter-group differences were noted for changes in nausea severity during the 0–6-hour and 0–24-hour intervals. Transdermal scopolamine patients evidenced a significant (P < .05) decrease in the severity of vomiting during the first 2 hours, significantly different from the increase in the non-transdermal scopolamine patients. After the 4-hour assessment, no transdermal scopolamine patients required droperidol; nine doses were administered to the patients who were not given transdermal scopolamine (P < .05). Thus, transdermal scopolamine therapy appears to be an effective means of treating the nausea and vomiting that are encountered after gynecologic surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)673-677
Number of pages5
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1991
Externally publishedYes

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