• Welcome to ScubaBoard

  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

Cutting the Scopolamine Patch in 1/2

Discussion in 'Diving Medicine' started by MissyP, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. MissyP

    MissyP Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: La Jolla, CA
    I'm pretty prone to seasickness so I use the patch on my boat dives.. Question~ is the patch as effective if it's cut in half for a single days use? It seems wasteful to use a 3 day patch for just 1 day of diving, so by cutting it in half I should be able to get another day of diving at a later date.... right? HOWEVER--- the website (http://www.transdermscop.com/information.htm ) says not to cut the patch in half, but it doesn't say why...
    So, it either (a) screws up the release of medication into your system when you cut it, or (b) the manufacturer says you have to use a whole patch each time so they'll make more $ because you have to refill your prescriptions more often.

    Anyone know?

    (getting a hold of my doc isn't an easy task, especially for a trivial question... otherwise I would've asked already)
  2. DocVikingo

    DocVikingo Senior Member Staff Member

    Hi MissyP,

    Cutting the patch could adversely affect the drug delivery system and adhesiveness of the patch.


  3. fisherdvm

    fisherdvm Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives:
    Not without seeing how the patch is made, cutting it in half might accelerate the dehydration of the medicine soaked center. The technology might be more complicated that simply adhesive laden with medicine.

    It is kinda like trying to split a slow release capsule .... All of a sudden, it is a rapid release capsule. If you ever pooped one of these capsules out, it is just a shell with a tiny hole on it.....
  4. DocVikingo

    DocVikingo Senior Member Staff Member

    Hi fisherdvm,

    In other words, it "could adversely affect the drug delivery system?"


  5. dlndavid

    dlndavid 私は寿司およびアジア女性を食べるだScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: California Norte
    I used to cut the nicoderm patches in half while quitting smoking, and at 24 hours I could feel the need for nicotine again, then they started stating to throw the patch away if it was cut. They found out people were using the full dose patch in smaller doses (size) saving money. I believe the medication is in the adhesive and the outer is just a cover.
  6. DocVikingo

    DocVikingo Senior Member Staff Member

    Hi dlndavid,

    Cutting Nicoderm patches can release the contained nicotine oil in larger than intended amounts, possibly leading to overdose.

    Depending upon the amount absorbed and individual sensitivity, nicotine can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, dizziness, disturbed hearing and vision, confusion, irregular heartbeat, chest pain, seizures and death.

    Even in milder form, overdose could predispose to diver panic.

    It's not worth the savings.


  7. DandyDon

    DandyDon Old men ought to be explorers ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: One kilometer high on the Texas High Plains
    I keep thinking that members will learn that when DocV posts and answer, they need to read - not type. :silly:
    fab50diver likes this.
  8. Dive-aholic

    Dive-aholic Dive Shop

    # of Dives:
    Location: North Florida - Marianna area
    I'm not sure what effect this would have on the delivery system, but how about taking the patch off when you're done with it, placing it back on the plastic backing and in it's packaging? Maybe even put it in a ziplock. I'm not sure if once the system is activated by placing it on your skin whether it will just keep releasing for 72 hours, but this would definitely be better than cutting the patch. Check with your pharmacist to see how that would work before trying it. This is not something I've tried. It's just a thought. Post what you find out. I'm interested in knowing the effect.
  9. DocVikingo

    DocVikingo Senior Member Staff Member

    I can save one the time of asking their pharmacist. No competent, reputable pharmacist would endorse such an action.

    Moreover, what kind of savings are we really looking at from all this risky business?

    Online brand name patches can be purchased for a little over $3 each in packs of 14; generic patches cost a little over $2 each in packs of 7.

    Considering what post #6 has to say about nicotine overdose, is it worth it?


  10. fda483

    fda483 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: River Vale, NJ
    As DocV said - don't cut them.

    Patches are one of the most technically advanced dosage delivery systems the drug industry puts out. Two general types are available, reservoir patches where a dose of the drug in contained in a pocket and release is controlled by the polymer film next to the skin, and matrix patches where the drug is contained in a polymer matrix that will release it over time. Given that the SCOP patch has been around for many years I would think that it is a reservoir design. Cutting it will cause dose dumping of the active - not a good thing.

Share This Page