Seasickness drug available again

The patch is back. Transderm Scop, those little dime-sized tabs that people suffering from motion sickness put behind their ears, has been released again after being unavailable for several years.

The return of Transderm Scop is being welcomed by sailors who have been known to try anything to find relief from the inexorable effects of the mal-de-mer.

A manufacturing problem in 1994 forced makers of the patch, New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company Novartis, to discontinue the product. The drug’s active ingredient, scopolamine, was not flowing at an effective rate, which would not have allowed 100% effectiveness, according to company spokesperson Eric Jackson. Defective patches were never distributed, Jackson said.

“We changed the manufacturing process to ensure a consistent delivery of the drug into the bloodstream,” Jackson said. “We took it off the market until we found a way to allow consistent delivery of the drug. It’s important to note that the product itself is the same product as before; we’ve only changed the way it is delivered.”The patches were shipped to pharmaceutical wholesalers in October, and the company says it should be available at most major pharmacies around the country by February. Transderm Scop patches are available by prescription only.”One should definitely speak with a doctor before using the product because, like all prescription drugs, it will have different effects on different people,” Jackson said. “One should have a basic physical to understand the product’s effect on the body.”

The company cautions that children and people with glaucoma should not use the patches. The patches are affixed behind the ear four hours before travel. Approximate duration of relief from nausea is three days.

For questions concerning the availability of Transderm Scop contact Novartis at 888-SCOP-72hr (888-726-7724).

By Ocean Navigator