What other names is Scopolia known by?

Belladonna, Belladonna Scopola, Escopolia, Glockenbilsenkraut, Japanese Belladonna, Russian Krainer Tollkraut, Scopola, Scopolia carniolica, Scopoliae Rhizoma, Scopolie.

What is Scopolia?

Scopolia is a plant. The root and root-like stem (rhizome) are used as medicine.

Despite serious safety concerns, scopolia is used for spasms of the digestive tract, bile ducts, and urinary tract; and for liver and gallbladder complaints. Scopolia is also used to increase urine production, cause relaxation and sleep, dilate eye pupils, and relieve pain.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Fluid retention.
  • Anxiety.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Pain.
  • Liver problems.
  • Gallbladder problems.
  • Spasms of the digestive tract.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of scopolia for these uses.

How does Scopolia work?

Scopolia contains several chemicals which are similar to prescription medications, including hyoscyamine, atropine, and scopolamine. These chemicals relax muscles lining the digestive and urinary tracts.

Are there safety concerns?

Scopolia is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth for self-medication. There is only a small difference between a beneficial dose and a poisonous dose, and products vary in concentrations of chemicals. Early symptoms of poisoning include reddened skin and dry mouth. Other symptoms include high body temperature, vision problems, difficulty urinating, and constipation. Taking large amounts of scopolia can cause restlessness, compulsive speech, and hallucinations, followed by breathing problems, and death.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

It is LIKELY UNSAFE for anyone to use scopolia, but people with the following conditions are especially likely to experience unwanted side effects:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Scopolia is LIKELY UNSAFE. Don't use it if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Heart problems such as congestive heart failure (CHF) or rapid, irregular heartbeat: Scopolia might make heart problems worse. Don't use it if you have one of these conditions.

Down syndrome: People with Down syndrome might be especially sensitive to the harmful effects of scopolia. Don't give it to them.

Hiatal hernia or heartburn (esophageal reflux disease): Scopolia might make esophageal reflux disease worse. Don't use it if you have this condition.

Fever: Scopolia might raise the body temperature. Don't use it if you have a fever.

Digestive tract conditions including constipation, stomach ulcers, stomach or intestinal infections, ulcerative colitis, enlarged colon (toxic megacolon), or blockage of the digestive tract: Scopolia might make digestive tract problems worse. Don't use it if you have one of these conditions.

Narrow-angle glaucoma: Scopolia might make narrow-angle glaucoma worse. Don't use it if you have this condition.

Trouble urinating (urinary retention): Scopolia might make urinary retention worse. Don't use it if you have this condition.

Are there any interactions with medications?

Drying medications (Anticholinergic drugs)
Interaction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.

Scopolia contains chemicals that cause a drying effect. It also affects the brain and heart. Drying medications called anticholinergic drugs can also cause these effects. Taking scopolia and drying medications together might cause side effects including dry skin, dizziness, low blood pressure, fast heartbeat, and other serious side effects.

Some of these drying medications include atropine, scopolamine, and some medications used for allergies (antihistamines), and for depression (antidepressants).

Medications used for depression (Tricyclic antidepressants)
Interaction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.

Scopolia contains chemicals that can affect the body. Some of these chemicals have effects similar to some medications used for depression. Taking scopolia might increase the side effects of some medications used for depression.

Some of these medicines used for depression include amitriptyline (Elavil), imipramine (Tofranil), and others.

Interaction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.

Scopolia can affect the heart. Quinidine can also affect the heart. Taking quinidine along with scopolia might cause serious heart problems.

Dosing considerations for Scopolia.

The appropriate dose of scopolia depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for scopolia. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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Last Editorial Review: 3/29/2011