In the UK, hyoscine hydrobromide (scopolamine hydrobromide) is available over the counter for travel sickness. It is available as injections, tablets (eg. Kwells), chewable tablets (eg. Joy-rides) and as a transdermal patch that delivers the drug through the skin. None of these are licensed to treat hypersalivation (drooling).
The transdermal patches offer an easy method of administration together with a steady level of the drug in the blood stream and a low incidence of systemic side effects compared to other similar drugs. A number of studies have demonstrated a reduction of saliva production in children and adults but all were short term and therefore could not provide long-term safety and efficacy data. The patches have been found to work for some people better than others. Long-term side effects may include the consequences of a dry mouth such as mouth infections (eg. thrush), dental decay and swallowing difficulties. Clinicians should be aware of these side effects and monitor for them.
Anecdotal experience with this has been positive. Most patients (adults) are treated with one patch at a time, typically placed behind the ear and changed roughly every three days. In children, the patch may be cut into half or thirds to reduce the dosage.
This information does not replace that provided by your doctor and administration of this drug for hypersalivation should be performed under medical direction. Further information can be downloaded from www.evidence.nhs.uk.
Last reviewed: 04-04-2017 || Next review due: 04-04-2019