Parasympatholytics or Anticholinergic or Antimuscarinic Agents Definintion: Drugs
Parasympatholytics or Anticholinergic or Antimuscarinic Agents Definintion: Drugs which inhibit the actions of acetylcholine on structures innervated by postganglionic cholinergic nerves and on smooth muscle cells that respond to acetylcholine but lack cholinergic innervation. Drugs that block muscarinic cholinoceptors. Nicotinic Blockers: Curare-like drugs. Muscarinic Blockers: Atropine like drugs. Cholinergic Receptors
The structure of atropine (oxygen [red] at  is missing) or scopolamine (oxygen present). In homatropine, the hydroxymethyl (blue) at  is replaced by a hydroxyl group, and the oxygen at  is absent The structure of atropine (oxygen [red] at  is missing) or scopolamine (oxygen present). In homatropine, the hydroxymethyl (blue) at  is replaced by a hydroxyl group, and the oxygen at  is absent. Structures of some semisynthetic and synthetic antimuscarinic drugs
Parasympatholytics or Anticholinergic or Antimuscarinic Agents Absorption: Natural alkaloids and most tertiary antimuscarinic drugs are well absorbed. When applied in a suitable vehicle, some (e.g. scopolamine) are even absorbed across the skin (transdermal route). In contrast, only 1030% of a dose of a quaternary antimuscarinic drug is absorbed after oral administration, reflecting the decreased lipid solubility of the charged molecule.
Parasympatholytics or Anticholinergic or Antimuscarinic Agents Distribution Atropine and the other tertiary agents are widely distributed in the body. Significant levels are achieved in the CNS within 30 minutes to 1 hour. Scopolamine is rapidly and fully distributed into the CNS where it has greater effects than most other antimuscarinic drugs. In contrast, the quaternary derivatives are poorly taken up by the brain. Parasympatholytics or Anticholinergic or Antimuscarinic Agents
Metabolism and Excretion: After administration, the elimination of atropine from the blood occurs in two phases: the t1/2 of the rapid phase is 2 hours and that of the slow phase is approximately 13 hours. About 50% of the dose is excreted unchanged in the urine. Most of the rest appears in the urine as hydrolysis and conjugation products. The drug's effect on parasympathetic function declines rapidly in all organs except the eye. Effects on the iris and ciliary muscle persist for 72 hours Parasympatholytics or Anticholinergic or Antimuscarinic Agents
Tissue Sensitivity: Tissues most sensitive to atropine are the salivary, bronchial, and sweat glands. Secretion of acid by the gastric parietal cells is the least sensitive. In most tissues, antimuscarinic agents block exogenously administered cholinoceptor agonists more effectively than endogenously released acetylcholine. Parasympatholytics or Anticholinergic or Antimuscarinic Agents Effects on Central Nervous System: Atropine has minimal stimulant effects on the CNS, especially the parasympathetic medullary centers, and a slower, longer-lasting sedative effect on the brain. Scopolamine has more marked central effects, producing drowsiness when given in recommended dosages and amnesia in
sensitive individuals. In toxic doses, scopolamine, and to a lesser degree atropine, can cause excitement, agitation, hallucinations, and coma. The tremor of Parkinson's disease is reduced by centrally acting antimuscarinic drugs, and atropinein the form of belladonna extractwas one of the first drugs used in the therapy of this disease. Vestibular disturbances, especially motion sickness, appear to involve muscarinic cholinergic transmission. Scopolamine is often effective in preventing or reversing these disturbances Parasympatholytics or Anticholinergic or Antimuscarinic Agents Effects on the Eye: Atropine and other tertiary antimuscarinic drugs cause
an unopposed sympathetic dilator activity and mydriasis Weaken contraction of the ciliary muscle, or cycloplegia. Cycloplegia results in loss of the ability to accommodate; the fully atropinized eye cannot focus for near vision. Both mydriasis and cycloplegia are useful in ophthalmology. They are also potentially hazardous, since acute glaucoma may be induced in patients with a narrow anterior chamber angle. A third ocular effect of antimuscarinic drugs is to reduce lacrimal secretion. Patients occasionally complain of dry or "sandy" eyes when receiving large doses of antimuscarinic drugs. Parasympatholytics or Anticholinergic or Antimuscarinic Agents
Effects on the Cardiovascular System Moderate to high therapeutic doses of atropine cause tachycardia by blockade of vagal slowing. Lower doses often result in initial bradycardia before the effects of peripheral vagal block become manifest . This slowing may be due to block of prejunctional M1 receptors (autoreceptors) on vagal postganglionic fibers that normally limit acetylcholine release in the sinus node and other tissues. The ventricles are less affected. In toxic concentrations, the drugs can cause intraventricular conduction block that has been attributed to a local anesthetic action. Parasympatholytics or Anticholinergic or Antimuscarinic Agents
Effects on the Blood Vessels: Parasympathetic nerve stimulation dilates coronary arteries, and sympathetic cholinergic nerves cause vasodilation in the skeletal muscle vascular bed . Atropine can block this vasodilation. All vessels contain endothelial muscarinic receptors that mediate vasodilation .These receptors are readily blocked by antimuscarinic drugs. At toxic doses, and in some individuals at normal doses, antimuscarinic agents cause cutaneous vasodilation, especially in the upper portion of the body. The mechanism is unknown. Parasympatholytics or Anticholinergic or Antimuscarinic Agents
Effect on the Respiratory System: Atropine can cause some bronchodilation and reduce secretions. This action is mediated blockade of M3 receptors. The antimuscarinic drugs are not as useful as the adrenoceptor stimulants in the treatment of asthma. The effectiveness of nonselective antimuscarinic drugs in treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is limited because blockade of autoinhibitory M2 receptors on postganglionic parasympathetic nerves can oppose the bronchodilation caused by block of M3 receptors on airway . Antimuscarinic drugs are frequently used before the administration of inhalant anesthetics to reduce the accumulation of secretions in the trachea and the possibility of laryngospasm.
Parasympatholytics or Anticholinergic or Antimuscarinic Agents Effects on the Gastrointestinal Tract: Blockade of muscarinic receptors has dramatic effects on motility and some of the secretory functions of the gut. Complete muscarinic block cannot totally abolish activity in this organ system, since local hormones and noncholinergic neurons in the enteric nervous system also modulate gastrointestinal function. Parasympatholytics or Anticholinergic or Antimuscarinic Agents Effects on the Gastrointestinal Tract: Antimuscarinic drugs have marked effects on salivary
secretion; dry mouth occurs frequently in patients taking antimuscarinic drugs. Gastric secretion is blocked less effectively: the volume and amount of acid, pepsin, and mucin are all reduced, but large doses of atropine may be required. Basal secretion is blocked more effectively than that stimulated by food, nicotine, or alcohol. Pirenzepine and telenzepine: M1 blockers, reduce gastric acid secretion with fewer adverse effects than atropine Pancreatic and intestinal secretions are little affected by atropine; these processes are primarily under hormonal rather than vagal control. Parasympatholytics or Anticholinergic or Antimuscarinic Agents
Effects on the Gastrointestinal Tract: All gastrointestinal smooth muscle motility is affected from the stomach to the colon. In general, the walls of the viscera are relaxed, and both the tone and propulsive movements are diminished. Therefore, both gastric emptying time, and intestinal transit time are prolonged. Diarrhea due to overactivity of parasympathomimetic system is readily stopped, and, even diarrhea caused by nonautonomic agents, can usually be temporarily controlled. Parasympatholytics or Anticholinergic or Antimuscarinic Agents
Effects on the Genitourinary Tract: Atropine and its analogs relax the smooth muscle of the ureters and bladder wall and slow voiding . This action is useful in the treatment of spasm induced by mild inflammation, surgery, and certain neurologic conditions, but it can precipitate urinary retention in men who have prostatic hyperplasia . Effects on the Sweat Glands: Atropine suppresses thermoregulatory sweating. In adults, body temperature is elevated by this effect only if large doses are administered, but in infants and children even ordinary doses may cause "atropine fever." Therapeutic Applications of Antimuscarinic Agents
Central Nervous System Disorders Parkinson's Disease: Most antimuscarinic drugs promoted for this application were developed before levodopa became available. Their use is accompanied by all of the adverse effects, but the drugs remain useful as adjunctive therapy in some patients. Motion Sickness: Scopolamine is one of the oldest remedies for seasickness and is as effective as any more recently introduced agent. It can be given by injection or by mouth or as a transdermal patch. The patch formulation produces significant blood levels
over 4872 hours. Useful doses by any route usually cause significant sedation and dry mouth Therapeutic Applications of Antimuscarinic Agents Ophthalmologic Disorders: Antimuscarinic agents, administered topically as eye drops or ointment, produce mydriasis and cycloplegia and they are very helpful in complete ophthalmic examination. The shorter-acting drugs are preferred.
For younger children, the greater efficacy of atropine is sometimes necessary, but the possibility of antimuscarinic poisoning is correspondingly increased. Antimuscarinic drugs should never be used for mydriasis unless cycloplegia or prolonged action is required. Alpha-adrenoceptor stimulant drugs, e.g. phenylephrine, produce a short-lasting mydriasis that is usually sufficient for funduscopic examination. A second ophthalmologic use is to prevent synechia (adhesion) formation in uveitis (inflammation of the middle layer of the eye ) and iritis. The longer-lasting preparations, especially homatropine, are valuable for this indication (CircularMuscle)
Aqueous humor is secreted by the epithelium of the ciliary body, flows into the space in front of the iris, flows through the trabecular meshwork, and exits via the canal of Schlemm. Blockade of the adrenoceptors associated with the ciliary epithelium causes decreased secretion of aqueous. Blood vessels (not shown) in the sclera are also under autonomic control and influence aqueous drainage. Therapeutic Applications of Antimuscarinic Agents Antimuscarinic Drugs Used in Ophthalmology. Drug
Use in Anesthesia: The use of atropine became part of routine preoperative medication, when anesthetics such as ether were used, to decrease airway secretions and to prevent laryngospasm. Scopolamine produces significant amnesia for the events associated with surgery and obstetric delivery, a side effect that was considered desirable. Urinary retention and intestinal hypomotility following surgery were often exacerbated by antimuscarinic drugs. Newer inhalational anesthetics are far less irritating to the airways. Therapeutic Applications of Antimuscarinic Agents
Respiratory Diseases: Ipratropium, a synthetic analog of atropine, is used as an inhalational drug in asthma. with reduced systemic effects. Ipratropium has also proved useful in COPD, a condition that occurs more frequently in older patients, particularly chronic smokers. Tiotropium, has a longer bronchodilator action and can be given once daily. These drugs might be more useful in bronchospasm induced by beta adrenergic blockers. Therapeutic Applications of Antimuscarinic Agents Cardiovascular Disorders: Marked reflex vagal discharge sometimes accompanies the pain
of myocardial infarction (i.e. vasovagal attack) and may depress sinoatrial or atrioventricular node function sufficiently to impair cardiac output. Atropine is used in this situation. Hyperactive carotid sinus syndrome: patients may experience faintness or even syncope as a result of vagal discharge in response to pressure on the neck. Circulating autoantibodies against the second extracellular loop of cardiac M2 muscarinic receptors have been detected in some patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy and those afflicted with Chagas' disease caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. These antibodies exert parasympathomimetic actions on the heart which are prevented by atropine. Therapeutic Applications of Antimuscarinic Agents
Gastrointestinal Disorders: Antimuscarinic agents can provide some relief in the treatment of Traveler's diarrhea and other mild or selflimited conditions of hypermotility. They are often combined with an opioid antidiarrheal drug, an extremely effective therapy. In this combination, the opioid is very effective, but, the very low dosage of the antimuscarinic drug functions primarily to discourage abuse of the opioid agent. Atropine with diphenoxylate(Lomotil) is available in both tablet and liquid form. Therapeutic Applications of Antimuscarinic Agents Urinary Disorders:
Atropine and other antimuscarinic drugs have been used to provide symptomatic relief in the treatment of urinary urgency caused by minor inflammatory bladder disorders. Oxybutynin, somewhat selective for M3 receptors, is used to relieve bladder spasm after urologic surgery, e.g. prostatectomy. It is also valuable in reducing involuntary voiding in patients with neurologic
disease. Darifenacin has greater selectivity for M3 receptors and the advantage of once-daily administration because of long half-life. It is used in adults with urinary incontinence. An alternative treatment for urinary incontinence refractory to antimuscarinic drugs is intrabladder injection of botulinum toxin. Botulinum toxin interferes with the release of acetylcholine and, perhaps the activity of sensory nerves in the urothelium. It can reduce urinary incontinence for several months after a single treatment. Therapeutic Applications of Antimuscarinic Agents Cholinergic Poisoning:
This could be the result of cholinesterase inhibitors or wild mushrooms . Atropine is used to reverse the muscarinic effects, to treat the CNS effects as well as the peripheral effects. Large doses of atropine may be needed to oppose the muscarinic effects of extremely potent agents like parathion and chemical warfare nerve gases. 12 mg of atropine sulfate may be given intravenously every 5 15 minutes until signs of side effects appear (dry mouth, reversal of miosis). The drug may have to be repeated many times, since the acute effects of irreversible anticholinesterase agent may last 2448 hours or longer. In this life-threatening situation, as much as 1 g of atropine per day may be required for as long as one month for full control of muscarinic excess.
Side Effects of Antimuscarinic Agents Mydriasis and cycloplegia are adverse effects when an antimuscarinic agent is used to reduce gastrointestinal secretion or motility. At higher concentrations, atropine causes block of all parasympathetic functions. Poisoned individuals manifest dry mouth, mydriasis, tachycardia, hot and flushed skin, agitation, and delirium for as long as 1 week. Children, especially infants, are very sensitive to the hyperthermic effects of atropine. Deaths have followed doses as small as 2 mg. Therefore, atropine should be considered a highly dangerous
drug when overdose occurs in infants or children. Atropa belladonna - Deadly Nightshade SYMPTOMS of Belladonna POISONING appear within 15 minutes: red skin, dry mouth, burning throat, dilated pupils, intense thirst, overheating due to decreased perspiration, double vision or inability to focus, difficulty urinating, over excitement and symptoms of restlessness, hallucinations, delirium, manic attacks followed by exhaustion and sleep, giddiness, burning in stomach, nausea, rambling talk, abnormally fast heartbeat, feeble rapid pulse, muscular tremors or Side Effects of Antimuscarinic Agents Treatment of Atropine Poisoning:
Physostigmine: small doses are given slowly intravenously (14 mg in adults, 0.51 mg in children). Symptomatic treatment may require temperature control with cooling blankets and seizure control with diazepam. Poisoning caused by high doses of quaternary antimuscarinic drugs is associated with all of the peripheral signs of parasympathetic blockade but few or none of the CNS effects of atropine. These more polar drugs may cause significant ganglionic blockade, however, with marked orthostatic hypotension. Treatment of the antimuscarinic effects, if required, can be carried out with a quaternary cholinesterase inhibitor such as neostigmine. Control of hypotension may require the administration of a sympathomimetic drug such as phenylephrine.
Contraindications of Antimuscarinic Agents Antimuscarinic drugs are contraindicated in patients with glaucoma, especially angle-closure glaucoma. Even systemic use of moderate doses may precipitate angle closure (and acute glaucoma) in patients with shallow anterior chambers. In elderly men, antimuscarinic drugs should always be used with caution and should be avoided in those with a history of prostatic hyperplasia. Because the antimuscarinic drugs slow gastric emptying, they may increase symptoms in patients with gastric ulcer. Nonselective antimuscarinic agents should never be used to treat acid-peptic disease.
Ganglion-Blocking Drugs Chemistry & Pharmacokinetics: Tetraethylammonium (TEA) The first to be recognized as having this action, has a very short duration of action. Hexamethonium: The first drug effective for management of hypertension. Decamethonium: The "C10" analog of hexamethonium, is a depolarizing neuromuscular blocking
agent. Mecamylamine: A secondary amine, was developed to improve absorption from the gastrointestinal tract because the quaternary amine ganglion-blocking compounds were poorly and erratically absorbed after oral administration. Trimethaphan: A short-acting ganglion blocker, is inactive orally and is given by intravenous infusion. Ganglion-Blocking Drugs
Ganglion-Blocking Drugs Mechanism of Action: Ganglionic nicotinic receptors, like those of the skeletal muscle neuromuscular junction, are subject to both depolarizing and nondepolarizing blockade Nicotine itself and even acetylcholine (if amplified with a cholinesterase inhibitor) can produce depolarizing ganglion block. Drugs now used as ganglion blockers are classified as nondepolarizing competitive antagonists. However, hexamethonium actually produces most of its blockade by occupying sites in or on the nicotinic ion channel, not by occupying the cholinoceptor itself.
In contrast, trimethaphan appears to block the nicotinic receptor, not the channel pore. Blockade can be surmounted by increasing the concentration of an agonist, e.g. acetylcholine. Organ System Effects of Ganglionic Blockers Central Nervous System: Mecamylamine, crosses the blood-brain barrier and readily enters the CNS. Sedation, tremor, choreiform movements, and mental aberrations have been reported as effects of mecamylamine. Eye:
Cycloplegia with loss of accommodation. Ganglionic blockade often causes moderate dilation of the pupil because parasympathetic tone usually dominates this tissue. Cardiovascular System: Ganglionic blockade causes a marked decrease in arteriolar and venomotor tone. The blood pressure may fall precipitously because both peripheral vascular resistance and venous return are decreased. Hypotension is especially marked in the upright position (orthostatic or postural hypotension). Cardiac effects include diminished contractility and, because the sinoatrial node is usually dominated by the parasympathetic nervous system, a moderate tachycardia.
Organ System Effects of Ganglionic Blockers Gastrointestinal Tract Secretion is reduced, Motility is profoundly inhibited, and constipation can be marked. Other Systems Ganglionic blockade causes hesitancy in urination and may precipitate urinary retention in men with prostatic hyperplasia. Sexual function is impaired in that both erection and ejaculation may be prevented by moderate doses. Sweating is reduced by the ganglion-blocking drugs.
Response to Autonomic Drugs: Patients receiving ganglion-blocking drugs are fully responsive to autonomic drugs acting on muscarinic, alpha , and beta adrenergic receptors because these effector cell receptors are not blocked. In fact, responses may be exaggerated or even reversed e.g. intravenously administered norepinephrine may cause tachycardia rather than bradycardia), because homeostatic reflexes, which normally moderate autonomic responses, are absent. Clinical Applications & Toxicity of Ganglionic Blockers Ganglion blockers are used infrequently because more selective autonomic blocking agents are available. Mecamylamine
blocks central nicotinic receptors and has been advocated as a possible adjunct with the transdermal nicotine patch to reduce nicotine craving in patients attempting to quit smoking. Trimethaphan is occasionally used in the treatment of hypertensive emergencies and dissecting aortic aneurysm; in producing hypotension, which can be of value in neurosurgery to reduce bleeding in the operative field. The toxicity of the ganglion-blocking drugs is widespread because of involvement of all the autonomic nervous system. For most patients, these effects are intolerable except for acute use.
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