Date: August 2022, Version 3

Quick read

Hyoscine is rarely used in pregnancy as there is not enough evidence to say that it is safe for the baby.

What is it?

Hyoscine is a medicine that comes in two forms:

Hyoscine butylbromide (butylscopolamine, buscopan) is used to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and muscle spasms in the bladder and urinary tract.

Hyoscine hydrobromide (scopolamine hydrobromide, Joy Rides®, Kwells®, Scopoderm TTS patches®) is used to prevent travel/motion sickness and to reduce bodily secretions such as saliva and sweat in specific situations (for example, before operations).


What are the benefits of taking hyoscine in pregnancy?

Hyoscine treatment can reduce the symptoms caused by IBS, bladder problems and motion sickness, and can greatly improve quality of life. However, hyoscine is only recommended in pregnancy if there are no alternative treatments as there is very little information about how it might affect the unborn baby.


What are the risks of taking hyoscine in pregnancy?

It is unclear if there are any risks. Hyoscine use in pregnancy has been studied in only a small number of women. Although the available information does not suggest it harms the baby in the womb, much more information needs to be collected to confirm this.


Are there any alternatives to taking hyoscine in pregnancy?

Switching drugs or stopping treatment may be an option. Women planning a pregnancy or who become pregnant while taking hyoscine should discuss treatment options with their doctor.

No treatment

What if I prefer not to take hyoscine in pregnancy?

Stopping hyoscine may be an option if advised by a doctor.

Medicines will only be prescribed during pregnancy when necessary and a doctor will be happy to talk about any concerns.

Will I or my baby need extra monitoring?

In the UK, all women will be offered a very detailed scan at around 20 weeks of pregnancy as part of their routine antenatal care. No additional monitoring of the baby is required due to use of hyoscine.

Are there any risks to my baby if the father has taken hyoscine?

There is no evidence that hyoscine used by the father can harm the baby through effects on the sperm.

Who can I talk to if I have questions?

If you have any questions regarding the information in this leaflet please discuss them with your health care provider. They can access more detailed medical and scientific information from www.uktis.org.

How can I help to improve drug safety information for pregnant women in the future?

Our online reporting system (MyBump Portal) allows women who are currently pregnant to create a secure record of their pregnancy, collected through a series of questionnaires. You will be asked to enter information about your health, whether or not you take any medicines, your pregnancy outcome and your child's development. You can update your details at any time during pregnancy or afterwards. This information will help us better understand how medicines affect the health of pregnant women and their babies. Please visit the MyBump Portal to register.

General information
Sadly, miscarriage and birth defects can occur in any pregnancy.

Miscarriage occurs in about 1 in every 5 pregnancies, and 1 in every 40 babies are born with a birth defect. This is called the ‘background risk’ and happens whether medication is taken or not.

Most medicines cross the placenta and reach the baby. For many medications this is not a problem. However, some medicines can affect a baby’s growth and development.

If you take regular medication and are planning to conceive, you should discuss whether your medicine is safe to continue with your doctor/health care team before becoming pregnant. If you have an unplanned pregnancy while taking a medicine, you should tell your doctor as soon as possible.

If a new medicine is suggested for you during pregnancy, please make sure that the person prescribing it knows that you are pregnant. If you have any concerns about a medicine, you can check with your doctor, midwife or pharmacist.

Our Bumps information leaflets provide information about the effects of medicines in pregnancy so that you can decide, together with your healthcare provider, what is best for you and your baby.