- A venerable drug that is a naturally occurring member of a large chemical class of compounds called alkaloids. Scopolamine was first introduced into medical usage in 1902. The name comes from that of the 18th-century Italian naturalist Giovanni Scopoli. Scopolamine is, together with atropine, a component of belladonna which comes from a plant called "deadly nightshade," once used as a means of poisoning. When scopolamine is given in lower (non-poisonous) doses, it causes drowsiness and amnesia and sometimes a sense of euphoria (a "high"). Scopolamine together with morphine provided childbirth without pain (or without the memory of pain), once a much sought-after objective. Known as twilight sleep, this combination of drugs could cause serious problems. It completely removed the mother from the birth experience and it gravely depressed the baby's central nervous system. This sometimes made for a drowsy depressed baby with depressed breathing capacity. Twilight sleep therefore has fallen entirely out of favor and is now a chapter in the history of obstetrics.
* * *An alkaloid found in the leaves and seeds of Hyoscyamus niger, Duboisia myoproides, Scopolia japonica, Scopolia carniolica, Atropa belladonna, and other solanaceous plants; the 6,7-epoxide of atropine, i.e., 6,7-epoxytropine tropate. Exerts anticholinergic actions similar to atropine; thought to have greater central nervous system effects; useful in preventing motion sickness. SYN: hyoscine.- s. hydrobromide anticholinergic action is similar to that of atropine. SYN: hyoscine hydrobromide.- s. methylbromide a quaternary ammonium derivative of s.; used when spasmolytic or antisecretory effects are desired.
* * *sco·pol·amine skō-'päl-ə-.mēn, -mən n a poisonous alkaloid C17H21NO4 similar to atropine that is found in various solanaceous plants (as jimsonweed) and is used chiefly in the form of its hydrated hydrobromide C17H21NO4·HBr·3H2O for its anticholinergic effects (as preventing nausea in motion sickness and inducing mydriasis) called also hyoscine
* * *n.
* * *sco·pol·a·mine (sko-polґə-mēn) an anticholinergic alkaloid, derived from several solanaceous plants, including Atropa belladonna, Hyoscyamus niger, Datura species, and Scopolia species. It has effects on the autonomic nervous system similar to those of atropine. It is used as an antiemetic, particularly in motion sickness; administered transdermally. Called also hyoscine.
Medical dictionary. 2011.