Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Scopace on the black market

 Perhaps it would be a good idea for pelagic birding enthusiasts who use Scopace to check around for it. Apparently some pharmacies may still have it in supply. The manufacturer stopped making it which is why it is unavailable. Supply and demand make the market. Scopace does have an expiration date. Who knows how much that supply of 50 I got is worth? I don't get sick myself, I got it for my wife and friends.

I wrote Sharon Hull to tell her the bad news and here is her reply:
This is such bad news!  Guess I’ll be hoarding my supply from now on, and not freely sharing. I still have about 30 tablets which “expired” in July 2010, but I used the same batch successfully in Alaska so suspect in time they may lose some effectiveness but not all.  And I will write Craig Sherman of course, though he sounds pretty determined that production is over.

Scopace discontinued

After making the post on Calbirds I heard from Tim Ruckle who wrote:

Hi, Roger:

I saw your mention of Scopace on your latest pelagic announcement message.  When I Googled “Scopace” I got a notice that Scopace was discontinued in April of 2011.  What was the reason?  And are you sure it’s OK to recommend?


Tim Ruckle
Chico, CA

So I did my share of googling and found out what some fisherman, kayakers and boater had already been discussing in their online forums.

This is all I could find out about why it was pulled:

According to Craig Sherman, MD, who is the Medical Director at Hope Pharmaceutical, it has been discontinued due to a disruption in their supply. If you're concerned about it and want to encourage them to begin the process of replacing it, you should e-mail him at the company:

It is extremely difficult, time consuming and expensive to secure a pharmaceutical grade supplier, so let them know it's worth their while.

I've been an advocate for Scopace for some time so I emailed Dr. Sherman right away and soon got an automated response: 
Dear Mr. Wolfe:
Thank you for your message.  We do not plan to resume the manufacture of Scopace at this time.  As a result, I suggest that you ask your doctor about alternative treatments.
Craig Sherman, MD
Hope Pharmaceuticals

Scopace no more?

 Last Friday, June 15 I sent this post off to the Calbirds listserv with Sharon Hull's testimonial at the bottom.

Monterey Seabirds has a half day trip on the schedule for next Saturday, July 23. The trip will run from 9am to 2 pm. You can drive from the Bay area in the morning and be home in the afternoon without having to spend the night.

Blue Whales are currently being seen in good numbers. Last Friday morning's Monterey Bay Whale Watch trip saw 18. Last week Skipper Richard Ternullo reported 2 TUFTED PUFFINS and a few XANTUS' MURRELETS.

We were hoping that these half day trips might appeal to those who don't think they have the stamina for an all day trip on the ocean. Right now we need about ten more birders to make the trip a go. If you like the idea of half day pelagic trips we need your support. These trips are suitable for kids and families.

If you are one of those who has suffered from seasickness then try Scopace on one of these shorter trips. It really works and I have some to share. Sharon Hull sent me this note earlier in the week:

" Roger - just finishing a 5 week Alaska trip during which I was on and off boats constantly, often in pretty rough seas. Our friend Scopace made it all possible! Thanks again for introducing me to that wonder drug."

What is Scopace


I wrote this piece for the Santa Cruz Bird club newsletter back in January. In the nine years we've been operating Monterey Seabirds I've found that Scopace is the only drug that seems to work every time. I've only seen one person have the drowsy side effect like what you see with Dramamine.

Get Seasick?
Over the last few years I’ve seen quite a few green faces and witnessed more regurgitation than I would have liked. I’ve loaned out electric Relief bands, handed out Bonine and ginger candies and watched Dramamine dosed dozers miss the action. I’ve seen people bend over the rail despite the Scopolamine patch behind their ears. The only sure fire cure for seasickness is land but there is another medication that is gaining a reputation as an antidote for motion sickness among boaters, fisherman and seabirders.
Scopalamine transdermal patches have been problematic in that it is difficult to gauge the proper dosage as variables like skin thickness varies among individuals but now Scopolamine is available in a tablet form that is absorbed more effectively by the gastrointestinal tract. It can be taken an hour prior to heading out to sea whereas the patches need to be applied twelve hours prior to departure. The average dosage is two tablets.
Scopace tablets are a Scopolamine derivative available by prescription only. The most serious side effect seems to be dry mouth, but you should avoid operating any heavy machinery.
Last year I had several participants (and one leader) on the Monterey Seabird trips testify that after several attempts at avoiding seasickness with patches or other medications without success they found that Scopace worked.
So if Mal de Mer has been keeping you from experiencing the avian wonders of the Monterey Bay you might look into Scopace. You can view testimonials from physicians on the web at: