In search for an effective treatment for the pain of stomach cramps, Sanofi learned from the healing arts of some of the world’s oldest cultures. Ancient Hindu physicians in India knew of the antispasmodic effects of a relative of Duboisia: the Datura plant. Today, the Buscopan® story starts in Ingelheim, Germany, where elite Duboisia plants are grown in greenhouses. These plants are bred to be resistant against nematodes and beetles. The best seeds are harvested and then delivered to plantations in South America and Australia for further on-site selection. Here, the shrubs grow on a large scale.
The pharmaceutically important alkaloid scopolamine contained in the dried leaves and stalks, is isolated and purified. Finally, the active precursor substance scopolamine undergoes a single chemical process - converted into hyoscine butylbromide, the active ingredient of Buscopan®.