This section is from the "A Handbook of Useful Drugs" book, by State Medical Examining and Licensing Boards.
The hydrobromid of an alkaloid obtained from plants of the Solanaceae.
Properties : Scopolamin hydrobromid forms colorless crystals, odorless, having an acrid, slightly bitter taste, freely soluble in water (1:15) and in alcohol (1:16).
Incompatibilities : Scopolamin hydrobromid is incompatible with alkalies and other precipitants of alkaloids.
Action and Uses: Scopolamin resembles atropin in its influence on the nerve endings, but differs from it in having a sedative instead of a stimulating effect on the brain. It is used as a cerebral sedative in cases of mania and other forms of insanity, but must be employed with caution, as it sometimes induces a rapid fall in blood-pressure and collapse. It has been extensively used in conjunction with morphin for the production of surgical anesthesia, either as a preliminary to the use of ether or chloroform, or as the sole anesthetic. It is liable to produce dangerous depression of the respiration. Experience in these methods of anesthesia has not been satisfactory. It has been employed as a partial anesthetic in labor, but experience shows that the effect on the fetus is sometimes disastrous, many children being born dead or asphyxiated.
It is frequently used as a mydriatic and is regarded by some ophthalmologists as preferable to atropin because it is less irritating, and produces a brief and complete cycloplegia.
Dosage: 0.5 mg. or 1/125 grain.