[top]Ways of administration
Can be administered orally, intraocularly, intravenously or intramuscularly.
[top]Effects of Atropine
Two mnemonics, which apply to all anticholinergic drugs
, from professors of mine include:
"Can't spit, shit, see or pee."
"Blind as a bat, hot as a hare, dry as a bone, mad as a hatter, red as a beet."
Through its anticholinergic activity, atropine:
- Increases heart rate
- Dries nasal and oral mucosa, as well as other secretions throughout the body, including preventing perspiration.
- Dilates pupils and increases intraocular pressure
- Slows the movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract
- Constricts smooth muscle around the urethra
- Causes hallucinations
[top]Combinations with Atropine
Belladonna combined with opium
is still used in suppositories to control diarrhea. This is one of the few remaining examples of whole herbs used in mainstream Western medicine.
[top]Different Uses for Atropine
Most often used for its effects on the heart, eyes, gastrointestinal tract. When administered as eyedrops, atropine causes mydriasis. The eyedrops may also be used sublingually to prevent drooling in terminally ill patients. To stop diarrhea, atropine may be taken orally or as a rectal suppository. To increase heart rate in an emergency situation, it is given intravenously.
Atropine is also used intravenously or intramuscularly as an antidote to organophosphate neurotoxins such as the insecticide Malathion and the chemical weapons VX and Sarin.
Rarely used recreationally (see below).