Hyoscine hydrobromide (Kwells kids)

How does it work?

Kwells kids tablets contain the active ingredient hyoscine hydrobromide, which is a type of medicine called an antimuscarinic (or anticholinergic). Hyoscine hydrobromide is sometimes known as scopolamine. It is used to prevent travel sickness.

Travel sickness is believed to be a result of the brain receiving conflicting information about what the body senses is happening and what the eyes see is happening.

In the inner ear are three fluid filled canals called the vestibular system. These detect changes in the body's position. Motion sickness is thought to occur when the vestibular system sends messages to the brain telling it that the body is being moved around, while the eyes send messages that the body is stationary.

Hyoscine hydrobromide is thought to prevent motion sickness by stopping the messages sent from the vestibular system from reaching an area of the brain called the vomiting centre. This area of the brain co-ordinates the vomiting reflex. Hyoscine blocks receptors called muscarinic (or cholinergic) receptors that are found in the vomiting centre. This prevents the vomiting centre from sending nerve messages to the stomach that would normally cause vomiting.

Hyoscine needs to be taken before travel to be most effective, as once feeling sick or vomiting has started it is more difficult to control, particularly with tablets that need to be kept down.

Kwells kids tablets should be given around 30 minutes before travel to be most effective at preventing sickness, however they can also be given once a journey has started if your child has started to feel sick.

What is it used for?

  • Preventing travel sickness in children aged four years and over.

How is it taken?

  • Kwells kids tablets can be sucked, chewed or swallowed whole. They can be taken either with or without food.
  • Children aged 4 to 10 years should be given half a tablet or one tablet up to 30 minutes before travel. For long journeys this dose may need repeating every six hours, however do not give more than three doses in 24 hours.
  • Children over 10 years of age should be given one or two tablets up to 30 minutes before travel. For long journeys this dose may need repeating every six hours, however do not give more than three doses in 24 hours.

Warning!

  • This medicine may cause drowsiness and blurred vision. If your child is affected in this way they should avoid potentially hazardous activities such as riding bikes. You should not leave your child unattended after giving them this medicine.

Use with caution in

  • Children with Down's syndrome.
  • Disease involving the heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular disease).
  • Kidney disease.
  • Liver disease.
  • Children with any blockage or obstruction in the stomach or intestines.
  • Children with a narrowing of the outlet of the stomach that makes it difficult for food to pass into the intestines (pyloric stenosis).
  • Ulcerative colitis.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Children who have difficulty passing urine due to a bladder obstruction.
  • Children with a fever. (This medicine may reduce sweating).
  • A condition involving abnormal muscle weakness (myasthenia gravis).
  • Epilepsy.

Not to be used in

  • Children under four years of age.
  • Children with glaucoma.

This medicine should not be used if your child is allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if your child has previously experienced such an allergy.

If you feel your child has experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

Side effects

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all children using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

  • Dry mouth.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Blurred vision or difficulty focusing.
  • Dilated pupils.
  • Reduced sweating.
  • Restlessness.
  • Confusion.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Difficulty passing urine.
  • Rash.

The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.

For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.

How can this medicine affect other medicines?

If your child is taking any other medicines, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, it is important to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving them this medicine as well. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving any new medicines in combination with this one, to make sure that the combination is safe.

There may be an increased risk of drowsiness if this medicine is used in combination with any of the following (which can also cause drowsiness):

  • alcohol
  • antipsychotic medicines, eg chlorpromazine, haloperidol
  • barbiturates, eg phenobarbital
  • benzodiazepines, eg diazepam, temazepam
  • sedating antihistamines, eg chlorphenamine, brompheniramine, hydroxyzine
  • sleeping tablets, eg zopiclone
  • strong opioid painkillers, eg morphine, codeine, dihydrocodeine
  • tricyclic antidepressants, eg amitriptyline.

There may be an increased risk of antimuscarinic side effects, such as dry mouth, blurred vision or difficulty passing urine, if this medicine is used in combination with other medicines that have antimuscarinic effects, such as the following:

  • amantadine
  • antiarrhythmic medicines for irregular heartbeats, eg disopyramide, propafenone, quinidine
  • antihistamines, eg promethazine, brompheniramine, chlorphenamine, diphenhydramine, triprolidine (some of these are often found in over-the-counter cough and cold remedies)
  • antimuscarinic medicines for Parkinson's symptoms, eg procyclidine, orphenadrine, trihexiphenidyl
  • antimuscarinic medicines for urinary incontinence, eg oxybutynin, trospium, tolterodine
  • antipsychotics, eg chlorpromazine, clozapine, thioridazine
  • antisickness medicines, eg meclozine, cyclizine
  • antispasmodics, eg atropine, propantheline, hyoscine butylbromide
  • MAOI antidepressants, eg phenelzine
  • muscle relaxants, eg baclofen
  • tricyclic antidepressants, eg amitriptyline, clomipramine.

If your child experiences a dry mouth as a side effect of this medicine you may find that medicines that are designed to dissolve and be absorbed from under the tongue (sublingual tablets) do not dissolve properly. To resolve this, get your child to drink a mouthful of water before taking sublingual tablets.

This medicine may oppose the effect of domperidone or metoclopramide. This is because metoclopramide and domperidone increase the motility of the gut, whereas hyoscine may reduce it.

Other medicines containing the same active ingredient

  • Joy-rides.
  • Kwells.
  • Scopoderm TTS.