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Atropine is a tropane alkaloid extracted from the deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna) and other plants of the family Solanaceae. Atropine derives its name from Atropos, one of the three Fates who, according to Greek mythology, chose how a person was to die.

Atropine is a competitive antagonist of the muscarinic acetylcholine receptors. Acetylcholine is the main neurotransmitter used by the parasympathetic nervous system. As such, it may cause swallowing difficulties and reduced secretions.

Topical atropine is used as a cycloplegic, to temporarily paralyze accommodation, and as a mydriatic, to dilate the pupils.

By blocking the action of acetylcholine at muscarinic receptors, atropine also serves as an antidote for poisoning by organophosphate insecticides and nerve gases.




bradycardia, cycloplegia, iritis, mydriasis, neuromuscular blockade, organophosphate (insecticide) toxicity, uveitis,

Side Effects

angina, anxiety, ataxia, blurred vision, confusion, constipation, cycloplegia, delirium, dizziness, fever, flushing, hallucinations, headache, insomnia, leukocytosis, mydriasis, nausea/vomiting, photophobia, sinus bradycardia, sinus tachycardia, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, urinary retention, urticaria, xerostomia,

Drug-Vitamin-Herb Interactions

Negative interactions:

Sedative herbs: Hops, Valerian, Skullcap
Sedative herbs can add to sedative effect of anticholinergics.




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