What Are the Most Common Atropine Side Effects?

K.C. Bruning

The most common atropine side effects are also among the least serious, but they should nevertheless be discussed with a doctor — though it is usually not necessary to stop taking the drug. These include a dry mouth, changes in taste, and nasal congestion or stuffiness. Other effects include light-headedness, headache, blurred vision, or sensitivity to light. Some patients have also reported heartburn, nausea, and bloating. There have also been patients who have experienced constipation or problems urinating.

Atropine side effects may include dry mouth and swelling of the tongue.
Atropine side effects may include dry mouth and swelling of the tongue.

Some of the most serious atropine side effects are the result of an allergic reaction to the drug. If these symptoms appear, the patient should stop taking the drug immediately and seek emergency medical attention. Symptoms typically include swelling of the face, tongue, and lips. More possible side effects include hives, breathing problems, and closure of the throat.

Atropine can be used to treat digestive diseases like irritable bowel syndrome and colitis.
Atropine can be used to treat digestive diseases like irritable bowel syndrome and colitis.

Other serious atropine side effects include flushing, a rash, and a fast or irregular heart rate. Some patients have also reported eye pain. Should any of these effects appear, the patient should stop taking the drug immediately and consult a doctor.

There are some conditions which can increase the risk of atropine side effects. They include chronic lung or liver disease, thyroid conditions, acid reflux disease, and high blood pressure. Ulcerative colitis, tingling or numbness in the extremities, and an enlarged prostate can also be problematic.

Some conditions may make taking the drug too dangerous due both to the increased risk of altropine side effects and an increased possibility of other adverse drug reactions. These include glaucoma, myastenia gravis, and kidney disease. It is also usually too dangerous to take the drug if the patient has a blockage in either the intestines or the urinary tract. The elderly are also at a higher risk of adverse effects from taking atropine and are usually either given a special dosage or advised not to take the drug.

Atropine is an antimuscarinic drug, which means that it fights the effects of the toxic alkaloid muscarine in the body. It is primarily used to reduce excessive secretions in several parts of the body, reduce spasms, and control shaking. Some of the conditions it can treat include Parkinson’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, and peptic ulcer.

The drug is made of a combination of plants from the solanaceae family. These usually include elements from mandrake, deadly nightshade, and jimsonweed. It has been used medically since ancient times. Atropine can be administered as an injection, as a tablet, or as eye drops.

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