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Another Delay for Prescription Patch

November 19, 1995|KATHLEEN DOHENY

Transderm Scop, the behind-the-ear patch worn by travelers prone to motion sickness, won't be back on the market before year's end, as originally predicted.

"We're hoping by mid-1996," said Mark Ryan, spokesman for CIBA Consumer Pharmaceuticals, Summit, N.J., which markets the prescription-only patch. Manufacture of the patch was halted in June, 1994, when a production problem was discovered in the plant.

"To reveal what went wrong would reveal trade secrets," said Ryan. "It was never a safety issue or a health issue."

On the market since 1980, the patch is about the size of a dime. It's impregnated with 1.5 milligrams of scopolamine, a medication that reduces the activity of the inner ear's nerve fibers, quelling motion sickness symptoms.

How it works is not exactly known, but the popular theory is that it blocks transmission of impulses from the inner ear to the brain, which would otherwise result in motion sickness. Over the three-day wearing time, about .5 milligrams of medicine are released per day. A pack of four is about $25.

For updates on the patch's availability, travelers can call the company at (800) 452-0051.

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