Scopolia root (Scopoliae rhizoma)

Published September 24, 1986.
List of German Commission E Monographs (Phytotherapy)


Name of Drug

Scopoliae rhizoma, scopolia root.

Composition of Drug

Scopolia root consists of the dried rhizome of Scopolia carniolica Jacquin [Fam. Solanaceae], as well as its preparations in effective dosage.

The drug contains 0.3 - 0.8 percent alkaloids, less than 0.4 percent L-hyoscyamine and a trace of scopolamine.


Spasms of the gastrointestinal tract, bile ducts, and urinary tract for adults and for children over the age of 6.


Narrow-angle glaucoma, prostate adenoma with residual urine, tachycardia, stenosis of the gastrointestinal tract, megacolon.

Side Effects

Dryness of mouth, reduction in perspiration, reddening of skin, disturbance of ocular accommodation, hyperthermia, tachycardia, difficulties in urination. Attacks of glaucoma can occur.

Interactions with Other Drugs

Increased effectiveness of simultaneously administered tricyclic antidepressants, amantadine, and quinidine.


Unless otherwise prescribed:

Average daily dosage:

Equivalent to 0.25 mg total alkaloids, calculated as hyoscyamine. Maximum single dosage:

Equivalent to 1 mg total alkaloids, calculated as hyoscyamine. Maximum daily dosage:

Equivalent to 3 mg total alkaloids, calculated as hyoscyamine. Mode of Administration Comminuted root, powder, and other galenical preparations for oral application.


Scopolia root acts as a parasympatholytic/anticholinergic via competitive antagonism of the neuromuscular transmitter acetylcholine. This antagonism affects more the muscarine-like effect of acetylcholine, less the nicotine-like effects at the ganglions and the neuromuscular end-plate. Scopolia root displays peripheral effects targeted on the vegetative nervous system and the smooth muscles, as well as central nervous effects. Because of its parasympatholytic properties, scopolia root causes relaxation of the smooth muscle organs and elimination of spastic conditions, especially of the gastrointestinal tract and the bile ducts. Conditions of muscular tremors and muscular rigidity, caused by central nervous impulses, disappear. The action on the heart is positively chronotropic and positively dromotropic.