Cholinesterase inhibitors

A drug may be classified by the chemical type of the active ingredient or by the way it is used to treat a particular condition. Each drug can be classified into one or more drug classes.

Cholinergic transmission involves the neurotransmitter acetylcholine being released from nerve fibers, binding to designated receptors on other cholinergic nerve fibers and passing on the message to bring about a response. Cholinesterase enzymes are present in the synaptic cleft of cholinergic synapses, and they hydrolyze acetylcholine, decreasing its concentration in the synapses.

Cholinesterase inhibitors bind to cholinesterase resulting in increased acetylcholine in the synapses, causing increased parasympathetic activity i.e. vasodilatation, constriction of pupils in the eyes, increased secretion of sweat, saliva and tears, slow heart rate, mucus secretion in the respiratory tract and constriction of bronchioles and so on.

The cholinesterase inhibitors listed here are mainly ones that affect the central nervous system. They penetrate the blood brain barrier and enhance cholinergic transmission in the brain. These agents are used to treat dementia in patients with Alzeihmer

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See also...

Medical conditions associated with cholinesterase inhibitors:

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