Hyoscine tablets

Also called also scopolamine

Key points about hyoscine tablets

  • Hyoscine tablets are used to relieve tummy (stomach) cramps or pain.
  • It is also called hyoscine butylbromide or Buscopan® or Buscopan Forte® or scopolamine butylbromide.
  • Find out how to take it safely and possible side effects.
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Hyoscine (also called scopolamine) tablets are used to relieve tummy (stomach) cramps or pain by helping the stomach muscles relax. It helps to ease bloating and the spasm-type pain that can occur with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and diverticular disease. Read more about irritable bowel syndrome and diverticular disease.

In New Zealand, hyoscine tablets are available in two strengths.

  • Hyoscine 10 mg tablets are only available on prescription from your doctor.
  • Hyoscine 20 mg tablets (Buscopan Forte®) can be bought from your pharmacy without a prescription, after consultation with a pharmacist (pharmacist-only medicine). 

Note: hyoscine is also available as a patch that is used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by motion sickness. Read more about hyoscine patch.

  • The usual dose of hyoscine tablets is 10 to 20 mg four times daily. 
  • Hyoscine tablets are usually used for a short-term unless prescribed for longer by your doctor. 
  • If your stomach cramps or pain gets worse or does not improve after a few days, you must see your doctor. 
  • Always take hyoscine tablets exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions.

  • Swallow the tablets with a glass of water.
  • You can take hyoscine tablets with or without food.
  • If you forget your dose, take it as soon as you remember. But, if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Do not take double the dose.

  • Have you ever had problems with your bowel (such as bowel obstruction or an enlarged bowel or ulcerative colitis)?
  • Do you have high blood pressure, a fast heart rate or any other problems with your heart?
  • Do you have prostate problems or problems passing urine (wee)?
  • Do you have glaucoma (increased pressure in your eye)?
  • Do you have myasthenia gravis?
  • Do you have gastro-oeseophageal reflux disease?
  • Do you have diarrhoea?
  • Are you taking or using any other medicines? This includes any medicines being taken which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.

If so, it’s important that you tell your doctor or pharmacist before taking hyoscine tablets. Sometimes a medicine isn’t suitable for a person with certain conditions, or it can only be used with extra care.

Like all medicines hyoscine tablets can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Feeling tired
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Problems with your eyesight and vision such as blurred vision 
  • Be careful when driving or using tools until you know how this medicine affects you
  • Do not drink alcohol
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome
  • Constipation
  • Dry mouth
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome
  • To relieve dry mouth, suck ice chips, drink water, or use a saliva substitute
  • Palpitations, changes in your heart rate
  • Tell your doctor or phone HealthLine 0800 611 116
  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as skin rash, itching, swelling of your lips, face and mouth, or difficulty breathing
  • Tell your doctor immediately or phone HealthLine 0800 611 116
Did you know that you can report a side effect to a medicine to CARM (Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring)? Report a side effect to a product(external link)

Hyoscine tablets can interact with some medicines and herbal supplements so check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting hyoscine tablets or before starting any new medicines.

The following link has more information on hyoscine tablets. 
Hyoscine butylbromide (tablet)(external link) New Zealand Formulary Patient Information


  1. Hyoscine butylbromide(external link) New Zealand Formulary

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Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist, Healthify He Puna Waiora. Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.

Reviewed by: Angela Lambie, Pharmacist, Auckland

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