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Side Effects
Serious

Blurring or changes in vision; large, dilated pupils; eye pain; hot, dry, or flushed skin; high fever; heartbeat irregularities; seizures; fainting; coma; unusual agitation; bizarre behavior; hallucinations. Call your doctor immediately.
Common

Dry mouth, nose, throat, or skin; constipation; decreased sweating.
Less Common

Difficult urination, decreased breast milk production, difficulty swallowing, headache, memory loss, increased sensitivity of eyes to light, nausea or vomiting, unusual fatigue.
Atropine Sulfate Oral


Drug Class:
Anticholinergic; antispasmodic

Available OTC?: No

Available Generic?: Yes

Generic 0.4 mg
(Lilly)
Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Special Concerns
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions


Available In
Tablets

Why Prescribed
To relieve painful cramps and spasms due to irritable bowel syndrome. It is also used rarely to treat stomach ulcers in conjunction with other drugs such as cimetidine, and as an antidote to poisoning with certain pesticides.

How It Works
Nerve impulses are transmitted to muscles and glands throughout the body by the action of specialized, naturally occurring chemicals known as neurotransmitters. Atropine blocks the ability of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine to stimulate certain muscles and glands. This produces effects ranging from drying of secretions (saliva, perspiration) to changing the size of the pupils and relief of intestinal muscle spasms.

Range and Frequency
Adults and teenagers: 300 to 1,200 micrograms (mcg) every 4 to 6 hours. Children: 4.5 mcg per lb of body weight every 4 to 6 hours, not exceeding 400 mcg per dose.

Onset of Effect
Within 30 to 60 minutes.

Duration of Action
From four to six hours.

Dietary Advice
Take it 30 to 60 minutes before meals and at bedtime.

Storage
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Missed Dose
Take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is near the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosage schedule. Do not double the next dose.

Stopping the Drug
Take it as prescribed for the full treatment period, even if you feel better before the scheduled end of therapy.

Prolonged Use
Therapy with this medication may require a period of several days to weeks. Prolonged use may increase the risk of an undesirable side effect.

Over 60
Common side effects may be more likely and more severe in older patients, who may also develop confusion and drowsiness.

Driving and Hazardous Work
The use of atropine may impair your ability to perform such tasks safely.

Alcohol
Use alcohol only in moderation.

Pregnancy
Although studies have been limited, atropine crosses the placenta and is not recommended during pregnancy. Before taking atropine, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Breast Feeding
Atropine passes into breast milk and should not be used during breast feeding. This medication may also inhibit milk formation.

Infants and Children
Not recommended for use by children unless under close medical supervision. Infants and very young children are very susceptible to the effects of atropine.

Special Concerns
Atropine must be used with care; it is potentially a very dangerous drug. Use caution when exercising, especially when physical activity is sustained or carried out in hot weather. By inhibiting perspiration, atropine may impair your ability to cool down; heat stroke may result.

Overdose Symptoms
Blurred or altered vision, dilated pupils, eye pain, hot, dry, or flushed skin, high fever, heartbeat irregularities, seizures, unusual agitation, bizarre behavior, hallucinations, fainting, coma.

What to Do
Call your doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or the nearest poison control center immediately.

Drug Interactions
Consult your doctor for specific advice if you are taking antacids or diarrhea medication; decongestants, antihistamines, and other medications for allergies or colds; ketoconazole; medicines that cause drowsiness, such as barbiturates, sedatives, and cough medicines; psychiatric medications, including antidepressants; alcohol-containing medicines; or painkillers.

Food Interactions
No known food interactions.

Disease Interactions
Consult your doctor if you have heart disease or a history of heart rhythm irregularities, pacemaker usage, or fainting; esophagitis or hiatal hernia; glaucoma; a history of intestinal obstruction, intestinal inflammation (colitis), or other gastrointestinal problems; myasthenia gravis; prostate enlargement or other urinary problems.

Date Published: 04/13/2005
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