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atropine(ăt`rəpēn, –pĭn), alkaloid drug derived from belladonnabelladonna
or deadly nightshade,
poisonous perennial plant, Atropa belladona, of the nightshade family. Native to Europe and now grown in the United States, the plant has reddish, bell-shaped flowers and shiny black berries.
..... Click the link for more information. and other plants of the family Solanaceae (nightshade family). Available either as the tincture or extract of belladonna, or as the pure substance atropine sulfate, it is a depressantdepressant,
any one of various substances that diminish functional activity, usually by depressing the nervous system. Barbiturates, sedatives, alcohol, and meprobamate are all depressants. Depressants have various modes of action and effects.
..... Click the link for more information. of the parasympathetic nervous systemnervous system,
network of specialized tissue that controls actions and reactions of the body and its adjustment to the environment. Virtually all members of the animal kingdom have at least a rudimentary nervous system.
..... Click the link for more information. . It has some chemical similarity to the body substance acetylcholineacetylcholine
, a small organic molecule liberated at nerve endings as a neurotransmitter. It is particularly important in the stimulation of muscle tissue. The transmission of an impulse to the end of the nerve causes it to release neurotransmitter molecules onto the surface of
..... Click the link for more information. and interferes with nerve impulses transmitted by that substance. Atropine produces rapid heart rate, dilated pupils, dry skin, and anesthetizes the nerve endings in the skin. Because it relaxes smooth muscle and suppresses gland and mucous secretions, it has been used to treat peptic ulcer by reducing the production of stomach acid. Atropine is given before general anesthesia to keep the air passages clear and is an ingredient in various preparations for symptomatic relief of colds and asthma. It also acts as an antidote in poisoning from such agents as mushrooms, morphine, prussic acid, and nerve gas, but overdosage causes delirium, convulsions, and coma. A related alkaloid, scopolaminescopolamine
, alkaloid drug obtained from plants of the nightshade family (Solanaceae), chiefly from henbane, Hyoscyamus niger. Structurally similar to the nerve substance acetylcholine, scopolamine acts by interfering with the transmission of nerve
..... Click the link for more information. , is used mainly as a sedativesedative,
any of a variety of drugs that relieve anxiety. Most sedatives act as mild depressants of the nervous system, lessening general nervous activity or reducing the irritability or activity of a specific organ.
..... Click the link for more information. .
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C17H23O3N An alkaloid extracted from Atropa belladonna and related plants of the family Solanaceae; used to relieve muscle spasms and pain, and to dilate the pupil of the eye.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
a poisonous alkaloid obtained from deadly nightshade, having an inhibitory action on the autonomic nervous system. It is used medicinally in pre-anaesthetic medication, to speed a slow heart rate, and as an emergency first-aid counter to exposure to chemical warfare nerve agents. Formula: C17H23NO3
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005