Hyoscine skin patches for drooling dilate pupils and impair accommodation: spectacle correction for photophobia and blurred vision may be warranted

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2007 Jun;49(6):426-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2007.00426.x.


Hyoscine skin patches diminish salivation by their anticholinergic action. The aim of reporting this case series is to present the ophthalmic side effects in children, and to highlight the precautions to take. Five children (two males, three females; age range 8-18y) with quadraplegic cerebral palsy (Gross Motor Function Classification System Level V) and profound intellectual impairment, wearing hyoscine skin patches to control excessive salivation, were examined. Binocular visual acuity, pupil reaction, pupil diameter, and dynamic retinoscopy were recorded before and after instilling guttae cyclopentolate 1%. The accommodative responses were compared with the expected norms. Spectacle correction was provided for refractive error and to compensate for lack of accommodation. Tinted lenses were provided for photophobia. Visual assessment was repeated 6 months later. All children had dilated pupils with a mean diameter of 7.8mm (range 7-9mm) before instilling guttae cyclopentolate. Mean pupil constriction to bright light was only 1.8mm (range 1-2mm). Mean resting accommodation was 0.45 dioptres (D; range 0-1D) and no accommodative responses were detected on dynamic retinoscopy. Three children were photophobic. Visual behaviour was seen to improve after the use of appropriate spectacles. Photophobia was relieved by tinted lenses. The anticholinergic effects of hyoscine skin patches can cause photophobia and impair vision due to pupil dilatation and paralysis of accommodation. Appropriate spectacles are recommended.

MeSH terms

  • Accommodation, Ocular / drug effects*
  • Adolescent
  • Cerebral Palsy / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Cyclopentolate / therapeutic use
  • Eye Protective Devices*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscarinic Antagonists / adverse effects*
  • Muscarinic Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Photophobia / chemically induced*
  • Photophobia / prevention & control*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Pupil Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Pupil Disorders / drug therapy
  • Scopolamine / adverse effects*
  • Scopolamine / therapeutic use
  • Sialorrhea / drug therapy*
  • Sialorrhea / epidemiology
  • Vision Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Vision Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Visual Acuity / drug effects*


  • Muscarinic Antagonists
  • Scopolamine
  • Cyclopentolate