Atropine

Photograph of Atropine under the microscope.

Atropine is an anticholinergic agent that is a potent parasympatholytic, inhibiting actions of acetylcholine at postganglionic parasympathetic neuroeffector sites. It is a competitive antagonist of acetylcholine at smooth and cardiac muscles and various glandular cells. Use of the drug increases heart rate by slowing down some parts of the nervous system while simultaneously speeding up other parts. It relaxes bronchial smooth muscles, therefore reducing airway resistance and dead space. Other effects are an inhibition of salivary secretion and a reduction in motor activity in the stomach and small and large intestines.Side effects include confusion, dizziness, light-headedness, eye pain, and skin rash.

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