Scopolamine Treatment and Adaptation to Airsickness

Omer Doron, Orit Samuel, Dror Tal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Airsickness is a clinical syndrome manifesting in a variety of symptoms, particularly nausea and vomiting during flight. Studies of habituation to motion sickness in humans treated by scopolamine have produced conflicting results. The drug accelerated habituation, but a rebound effect on symptom severity was observed after its withdrawal. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether scopolamine affects the adaptation process. We also evaluated the relationship between initial symptom severity and adaptation to airsickness. methods: Aviator cadets in the first two stages of their training were divided into two groups, treated and not treated by scopolamine. Airsickness severity was evaluated using both simulator sickness and motion sickness questionnaires, and drug administration was recorded. results: A statistically significant higher rate of adaptation was observed among the scopolamine-treated group compared with the nontreated group. On the simulator sickness questionnaire, rate of adaptation for the two groups was 2 0.21 6 0.53 and 20.1 6 0.17, respectively, and for the motion sickness questionnaire 22.34 6 1.54 and 20.91 6 1.41, respectively. Examination of a possible connection between initial symptom severity and adaptation rate failed to reveal a significant relationship. conclusions: We recommend the use of oral scopolamine to accelerate habituation and find it a relatively safe short-term treatment for airsickness. Our results support the notion that scopolamine accelerates the natural adaptation process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-317
Number of pages5
JournalAerospace medicine and human performance
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • adaptation
  • airsickness
  • scopolamine
  • simulator sickness questionnaire


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