Atropine

How It Works:

Atropine belongs to class of medication called as anticholinergic drugs. It acts by blocking the activity chemicals (acetylcholine) in the body, thereby producing effects such as reduction of salivary and other body secretions, relief of abdominal pain due to cramps, increase in the heart rate, and widening of the pupil.

Side Effects:

Vomiting, Nausea, Confusion, Dry mouth, Dry skin, Difficulty in urination, Eye irritation, Eyelid swelling, Altered heart rate, Eye redness, Skin redness, Tachycardia, Blurred vision, Photosensitivity, Fever

Used For:

Atropine is used in the treatment of bradycardia and inflammation of the uvea (middle layer of the eye between the sclera and the retina)

Instructions:

  • Do not start or continue atropine, in any form if you are allergic to atropine or any other ingredients of the medicine.
  • Do not start or continue atropine eye drops if you wear soft contact lenses; if you have increased pressure in the eyes (glaucoma); fever or increased heart rate. 
  • Do not start or continue atropine tablets if you have a condition called pyloric stenosis characterize with difficulty for food to move from stomach into the small intestine causing pain or vomiting; or acid reflux with heartburn (gastro-oesophageal reflux) and diarrhea.
  • Avoid taking atropine if you have urinary retention, high blood pressure, any heart problem including weak heart, or high thyroid hormone level.
  • Do not take this drug if you have rare hereditary problems of intolerance to done or more types of sugar (including galactose intolerance, the Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption.)
  • Do not drink alcohol while taking atropine in any form. 
  • Atropine can cause visual disturbances, giddiness and staggering and, therefore, caution has to be taken before operating an automobile or machinery or engaging in activities requiring mental alertness and coordination.
   

Frequently Ask Questions:

Q. Is atropine a controlled substance?
No, it is available as prescription drug

Q. Is atropine a beta blocker /calcium channelblocker/adrenaline/ parasympathomimetic/vasopressor?
No, atropine belongs to class of medication called as anticholinergics or cholinergic antagonist

Q. Is atropine an agonist or antagonist?
Atropine is an antagonist of cholinergic receptors

Q. Is atropine a narcotic drug?
No, it is not a narcotic. However, it is often available in combination with drugs that have abuse potential

Q. Does atropine increase blood pressure/decrease heart rate/sedation/urinary retention/increase contractility?
Atropine decreases heart rate and increases blood pressure; It causes urinary retention as well as decreased contractility of gut and urinary bladder muscles. It does not cause sedation, on the contrary, it causes excitation, sleeplessness and agitation

Q. Does atropine cross placenta?
Yes, small amount of atropine can cause placenta. Always follow your doctor’s advice regarding its use

Q. Does atropine block activity of acetylcholine /nicotinic receptor?
Yes, atropine acts by inhibiting the activity of acetylcholine on muscarinic and nicotinic receptors.
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