Compare Phenergan vs. scopolamine

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Phenergan
(promethazine)

Transderm-Scop
(scopolamine)

Helps you feel less queasy. Phenergan (Promethazine) is used to treat and prevent nausea and vomiting from surgery, motion sickness, or pregnancy. While it's cheap and available in different forms to make it easier to take, it can make you feel very sleepy, and its side effects mean that children under 2 and adults over 65 shouldn't take it.Prevents nausea and vomiting. Transderm-Scop (scopolamine) is a low-hassle patch that works well to prevent nausea and vomiting, but it takes several hours to work.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
6.08Phenergan
Reviews for Phenergan
82%
of people (All ages) say Phenergan is worth it
76%
say it works well
5%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Phenergan (promethazine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for scopolamine
73%
+9% better vs. Phenergan
58%
+18% better vs. Phenergan
19%
+14% better vs. Phenergan
Have you used Transderm-Scop (scopolamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Phenerganscopolamine

The Phenergan FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Phenergan side effects »
  • Dry mouth 12%
  • Dizziness 5%
  • Drowsiness 4%
  • Agitation 2%
  • Visual changes 2%
  • Confusion 1%
  • Dilated pupils 4%
  • Sore throat 1%
More scopolamine side effects »
How it works
Phenerganscopolamine
Phenergan (Promethazine) is an antihistamine, which helps control allergies. It also seems to block your body's natural reflex for vomiting, which makes it useful as an antiemetic (anti-nausea medicine).Transderm-Scop (scopolamine) is an anti-nausea medicine. It works by blocking signals in the part of your brain that causes vomiting.
Type of medication
Phenerganscopolamine
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
Phenerganscopolamine
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Suppository
  • Patch
Used for
Phenerganscopolamine
Risk factors for serious side effects
Phenerganscopolamine
  • Children under 2 years of age
  • History of seizures
  • Age over 65
Detailed Phenergan (promethazine) risks & warnings »
  • Open angle glaucoma
  • Blockages in the stomach, bowels or bladder
  • MRI examination
  • History of seizures
  • History of psychosis
Detailed Transderm-Scop (scopolamine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Alcohol
Phenerganscopolamine
  • Don't drink alcohol to avoid intense side effects.
No alcohol related info.
Pain
Phenerganscopolamine
  • Taking certain medications for pain, allergies, or mood conditions can worsen the side effects of Promethazine.
No pain related info.
Sleep
Phenerganscopolamine
  • You'll likely feel very sleepy, sluggish, or less alert after taking Promethazine. Avoid driving or other tasks that require your focused attention; be safe.
  • Can make you feel very sleepy, especially if you're taking other drugs that can make you sleepy or if you drink alcohol.
  • You might feel sleepy, drowsy, or have blurry vision while taking Transderm-Scop (scopolamine). Taking alcohol or other medicines that make you drowsy can make this effect worse.
Upsides and benefits
Phenerganscopolamine
  • Available in generic.
  • Available as a syrup or tablet that you can take by mouth, or as a rectal suppository if you're unable to take anything by mouth.
  • Transderm-Scop (scopolamine) is well tolerated.
  • Prevents nausea for 3 days.
  • Because Transderm-Scop (scopolamine) is a skin patch, it's a good alternative to stopping nausea and vomiting if you're not able to swallow pills.
Downsides and risks
Phenerganscopolamine
  • Can make you feel very sleepy, especially if you're taking other drugs that can make you sleepy or if you drink alcohol.
  • Can't be used in children under 2 years of age or if you're over 65 because of increased risk from side effects.
  • Can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
  • Can only be used for prevention of nausea and vomiting. It can't stop nausea or vomiting that's already happening.
  • The side effects can be worse if you are 65 and older.
  • You might feel sleepy, drowsy, or have blurry vision while taking Transderm-Scop (scopolamine). Taking alcohol or other medicines that make you drowsy can make this effect worse.
  • You're more likely to have heat stroke or feel dehydrated.
  • It takes a few hours for Transderm-Scop (scopolamine) to kick in, so you have to remember to take it beforehand.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Phenerganscopolamine
  • Promethazine comes in different forms. Be clear on which one you were prescribed - swallow tablets orally, unwrap and insert suppositories rectally.
  • Don't give to kids 2 and under.
  • You'll likely feel very sleepy, sluggish, or less alert after taking Promethazine. Avoid driving or other tasks that require your focused attention; be safe.
  • Don't drink alcohol to avoid intense side effects.
  • Taking certain medications for pain, allergies, or mood conditions can worsen the side effects of Promethazine.
  • Avoid using if you experience seizures (epilepsy).
  • Don't use if you're 65 or older because you're at higher risk for serious side effects.
  • Starts working in 6 to 8 hours.
  • Apply Transderm-Scop (scopolamine) to a clean, dry, hairless area of the skin behind the ear. Press down for 30 seconds to make sure the patch stays firmly.
  • After handling the patch, make sure to wash your hands with soap and water to avoid accidental contact with your eyes.
  • If the patch comes off, throw it away and use a new patch.
  • You can prevent skin irritation by alternating ears and washing the area of your ear that you had placed the patch on.
  • If you're using this before surgery, place it the day before, then leave it on until the day after your surgery.
  • Take the patch off before you have an MRI because it can cause the skin to burn.
Learn more
More about PhenerganSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Phenergan (promethazine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about scopolamineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Transderm-Scop (scopolamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it