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Atropine

Pronunciation

Generic Name: atropine (AT-row-peen)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brand available.

Atropine is used for:

Decreasing the production of saliva and secretions of the airway prior to surgery. It is also used to treat spasms in the stomach, intestines, and other organs. It may also be used to counteract the effects of certain other medicines or for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Atropine is an anticholinergic. It works by blocking the effects of a chemical in the body (acetylcholine) in the nervous system, stomach, intestines, certain glands (eg, salivary gland), urinary tract, and other tissues.

Do NOT use atropine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in atropine
  • you have adhesions between the iris and lens of the eyes, asthma, blocking of the stomach or bowel, ulcerative colitis, bleeding, angle-closure glaucoma, myasthenia gravis, difficulty urinating due to a blockage, excess acid in the stomach or throat, esophagus problems (difficulty swallowing), or bowel muscle weakness

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using atropine:

Some medical conditions may interact with atropine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of megacolon or a predisposition to angle-closure glaucoma
  • if you have numbness due to nerve damage, prostate problems (enlarged prostate), blockage of the bladder, trouble urinating, heart problems (congestive heart failure), hiatal hernia, or open-angle glaucoma

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with atropine. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Antihistamines (eg, diphenhydramine), medicine for Parkinson disease (eg, benztropine), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because they may increase the risk of atropine's side effects

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if atropine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use atropine:

Use atropine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Atropine is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using atropine at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use atropine. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Do not use atropine if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of atropine, contact your doctor right away.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use atropine.

Important safety information:

  • If your symptoms do not get better within a few days or if they get worse, check with your doctor.
  • Atropine may cause drowsiness or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use atropine with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using atropine; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • Do not become overheated in hot weather or while you are being active; heatstroke may occur.
  • Report any symptoms of fluid or electrolyte loss to your doctor: dry mouth; thirst; weakness; lethargy; drowsiness; restlessness; muscle pain or cramps; muscle weakness; low blood pressure; infrequent urination; rapid heartbeat; stomach disorders such as nausea and vomiting.
  • Atropine may make your eyes more sensitive to sunlight. It may help to wear sunglasses.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take atropine before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Use atropine with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Atropine should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using atropine while you are pregnant. It is not known if atropine is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use atropine, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of atropine:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Blurred vision; constipation; decreased salivation; decreased sweating; difficulty sleeping; difficulty swallowing; dilation of the pupils; dizziness; drowsiness; excitement; fever; headache; hot, flushed, dry skin; loss of taste; mild to severe dryness of the nose and mouth; nausea; nervousness; thirst.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); changes in heartbeat; confusion; delirium; diarrhea; difficulty focusing your eyes; difficulty urinating; fast/irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; rash; restlessness with weakness; speech disturbance; unusual weakness; vomiting.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include anxiety; coma; difficulty breathing; dilated pupils; disorientation; hallucinations; high blood pressure; high body temperature; hyperactivity; muscle weakness; restlessness; seizures; severe dizziness; urinary retention; vomiting.

Proper storage of atropine:

Store atropine at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep atropine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about atropine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Atropine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take atropine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about atropine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to atropine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using atropine.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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