Hyoscine: Uses and Side Effects

Have you ever heard of hyoscine? This drug is known for its antispasmodic use and very few side effects. Keep reading to learn more.
Hyoscine: Uses and Side Effects

Last update: 13 January, 2021

Hyoscine is a drug with other names, such as scopolamine or hyoscine butyl bromide. It soothes abdominal pain and discomfort, menstrual cramps, and other spasmodic digestive system problems.

For decades, it’s been one of the most common ways to treat renal colic pain, alone or with metamizole.

It’s important to keep in mind that it’s not a pain reliever like NSAID drugs – its goal is to avoid the cause of pain: muscle spasms themselves.

For this reason, this drug is an antispasmodic drug. Hyoscine is an alkaloid found in some plants of the genus Duboisia, such as Duboisia myoporoides.

How does hyoscine affect the body?

Salts derived from hyoscine, such as hyoscine butylbromide, are an anticholinergic drug with a high affinity for muscarinic receptors. These are on the smooth muscle cells of the digestive tract.

When this drug reacts with receptors, hyoscine triggers a spasmolytic effect. Also, it can bind with nicotine receptors, causing a ganglionic blockade.

A person holding a pill and a glass of water.

Uses of hyoscine

Below, we’ll show you the different uses for hyoscine, as well as its dosage:

  • Treating peptic ulcersIn children and adults over 12 years old, take 20 mg up to 4 times a day. For children between 6 and 12, reduce the dose to 5-10 mg up to 3 times a day. Finally, in infants and children under 6, take a dose of 0.3-0.6 mg / + kg between 3 and 4 times a day. The maximum would be 1.5 mg / kg.
  • Astyspasmodic: Adults take 20 mg orally up to 4 times per day.
  • Adjuvant irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal disorders: Just like the previous use, adults take 20 mg orally up to 4 times per day.

Pharmacokinetics: what happens to hyoscine in the body?

Pharmacokinetics includes the processes of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of the drug. In this sense, hyoscine is an oral drug that has low bioavailability.

In other words, this is the percentage of the drug that’s available at the introduction point after taking the full dose. Only 1% of the oral dose goes into circulation.

However, they work well in the muscarinic receptors in the intestinal tract. Here, the drug works locally.

Also, hyoscine doesn’t cross the blood-brain barrier. Therefore, it doesn’t have cholinergic effects on the central nervous system.

Side effects

A bottle with pills spilling out of it.

Like all medicines, hyoscine also has side effectsIt’s important to take them into account, according to the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products.

Adverse effects are all the unwanted symptoms that occur when taking a drug. Here, the most common side effects are:

  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Sickness
  • Dizziness
  • Blurry vision

On the other hand, although it’s not very common, the Collaborating Center of the National Administration of Medicines, Food and Medical Technology of Argentina states that hypersensitivity reactions can happen with some of the following symptoms:

  • Itchiness
  • Urticaria
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing

In fact, all of these symptoms may need emergency medical attention. You should get treatment from a healthcare professional as soon as possible.

Always consult with professionals

It’s an anticholinergic drug that treats gastrointestinal, genitourinary and bile duct tracts.

Despite its low bioavailability, when taken orally it has a high tissue affinity for muscarinic receptors on smooth muscle. This seems to explain how few side effects it has.

However, keep in mind that it can have serious side effects that require immediate medical attention. Talk to your doctor about any questions you have about hyoscine treatment.

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