Active Ingredient History
Atropine inhibits the muscarinic actions of acetylcholine on structures innervated by postganglionic cholinergic nerves, and on smooth muscles which respond to endogenous acetylcholine but are not so innervated. As with other antimuscarinic agents, the major action of atropine is a competitive or surmountable antagonism which can be overcome by increasing the concentration of acetylcholine at receptor sites of the effector organ (e.g., by using anticholinesterase agents which inhibit the enzymatic destruction of acetylcholine). The receptors antagonized by atropine are the peripheral structures that are stimulated or inhibited by muscarine (i.e., exocrine glands and smooth and cardiac muscle). Responses to postganglionic cholinergic nerve stimulation also may be inhibited by atropine but this occurs less readily than with responses to injected (exogenous) choline esters. Atropine is relatively selective for muscarinic receptors. Its potency at nicotinic receptors is much lower, and actions at non-muscarinic receptors are generally undetectable clinically. Atropine does not distinguish among the M1, M2, and M3 subgroups of muscarinic receptors. NCATS
Drug Pricing (per unit)
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