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An anticholinergic agent is a member of a class of pharmaceutical compounds (such as Dicyclomine) which serve to reduce the effects mediated by acetylcholine in the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system.
Additional recommended knowledge
Anticholinergics are typically reversible competitive inhibitors of one of the two types of acetylcholine receptors, and are classified according to the receptors that are affected:
When a significant amount of anticholinergic is taken into the body, a toxidrome known as acute anticholinergic syndrome may result. This may happen accidentally or intentionally as a form of recreational drug use. This class of drug is usually considered the least "fun" by experienced drug users, possibly due to the lack of euphoria caused by anticholinergics. Because most users do not enjoy the experience, they do not use it again, or very rarely. Risk of addiction is low in the anticholinergic class. Effects are usually more pronounced in the elderly, due to the decrease of acetylcholine production associated with age.
Possible effects of anticholinergics include:
Possible effects in the central nervous system resemble those associated with delirium, and may include:
Acute anticholinergic syndrome is completely reversible and subsides once all of the toxin has been excreted. Ordinarily, no specific treatment is indicated. However, in extreme cases, especially those that involves severe distortions of mental state, a reversible cholinergic agent such as physostigmine may be used.
The most common plants containing anticholinergic alkaloids are:
Some drugs, such as hydrocodone, are mixed with small amounts of an anticholinergic, such as Homatropine Methylbromide to discourage abuse.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Anticholinergic". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|