Anticholinergic Medication


Anticholinergic Medication, Anticholinergic Agent, Muscarinic Antagonist, Nicotinic Antagonist

  • Mechanism
  • Muscarinic Antagonists
  1. M1, M4, M5 Receptor Antagonist (CNS Effects)
    1. Altered Mental Status
  2. M2 Receptor Antagonist (Cardiac Effects)
    1. Increased AV Nodal Conduction (Tachycardia, Arrhythmias)
  3. M3 Receptor Antagonist (Smooth Muscle and Exocrine Glands)
    1. Decreased gastrointestinal motility
    2. Decreased Salivation
    3. Decreased Bladder contractions and increased Urethral sphincter tone
    4. Bronchodilation and decreased Bronchial secretions
    5. Mydriasis
    6. Decreased Sweating
  • Mechanism
  • Nicotinic Antagonists
  1. Ganglionic Blocking Agents (act at Autonomic Nervous System)
    1. Sympathetic effects
      1. Vasodilation
    2. Parasympathetic effects
      1. Mydriasis
      2. Decreased gastrointestinal motility and Constipation
      3. Tachycardia
      4. Urinary Retention
  2. Neuromuscular Blocking Agents (act at Neuromuscular Junction)
    1. Acetylcholine Competitive Receptor Antagonists (Vecuronium, Rocuronium)
      1. Inhibited Muscle Contraction (Muscle relaxation, paralysis)
    2. Depolarizing Antagonists (Succinylcholine)
      1. Transient muscle Fasciculations and contractions, followed by paralysis
  • Complications
  1. See Anticholinergic Toxicity
  2. Altered Level of Consciousness (esp. elderly)
    1. Delirium or confusion (may mimic Dementia)
    2. Memory Impairment
    3. Delirium
    4. Obtundation