Skip to Content

atropine (injection)

Pronunciation

Generic Name: atropine (injection) (AT roe peen)
Brand Name: Sal-Tropine, AtroPen, Atreza

What is atropine?

Atropine produces many effects in the body such as reducing muscle spasms and fluid secretions.

Atropine is used to help reduce saliva, mucus, or other secretions in your airway during a surgery. Atropine is also used to treat spasms in the stomach, intestines, bladder, or other organs.

Atropine is sometimes used as an antidote to treat certain types of poisoning.

Atropine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about atropine?

Before you receive atropine, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions or allergies, and all the medicines you are using. Also make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving atropine?

To make sure atropine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • asthma or other breathing disorder;

  • glaucoma;

  • enlarged prostate;

  • urination problems,

  • a heart rhythm disorder;

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • myasthenia gravis; or

  • blockage in your digestive tract (stomach or intestines).

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. However, some forms of this medicine contain a preservative that may be harmful to a newborn. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

It is not known whether atropine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

In an emergency situation it may not be possible to tell your caregivers about your health conditions. Make sure any doctor caring for you afterward knows you have received this medicine.

How is atropine given?

Atropine is injected into a muscle, under the skin, or into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Because you will receive atropine in a clinical setting, you are not likely to miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Since this medicine is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

Overdose symptoms may include confusion, fever, or fast heartbeats.

What should I avoid while taking atropine?

This medicine may cause blurred vision and may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert and able to see clearly.

Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise and in hot weather. Atropine can decrease sweating and you may be more prone to heat stroke.

Atropine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your caregivers right away if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;

  • restlessness;

  • speech problems, trouble swallowing;

  • confusion, hallucinations;

  • weakness, loss of balance;

  • hot, dry skin; or

  • a severe skin rash.

Common side effects may include:

  • dry mouth, nose, or throat;

  • dry eyes, blurred vision;

  • dizziness; or

  • headache, drowsiness.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Atropine dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Bradyarrhythmia:

0.4 to 1 mg IV one time. An effective dose within this range may be repeated every 1 to 2 hours as needed to achieve an adequate heart rate or within 5 to 10 minutes if the initial heart rate is inadequate. In rare instances, repeated doses as high as 2 mg are needed.

Usual Adult Dose for AV Heart Block:

0.4 to 1 mg IV one time. An effective dose within this range may be repeated every 1 to 2 hours as needed to promote normal AV node conduction or within 5 to 10 minutes if the initial effect is inadequate to overcome the heart block. In rare instances, repeated doses as high as 2 mg are needed.

Usual Adult Dose for Organophosphate Poisoning:

Mild symptoms of nerve agent (nerve gas) or insecticide exposure:
2 mg/0.7 mL (green) by AtroPen auto-injector into midlateral thigh followed by 2 additional 2 mg/0.7 mL (AtroPen) injections given in rapid succession are recommended 10 minutes after receiving the first injection if the victim develops any of the following severe symptoms: strange or confused behavior, severe difficulty breathing or severe secretions from the lungs and airways, severe muscular twitching and general weakness, involuntary urination and defecation, convulsions or unconsciousness.

Severe symptoms of nerve agent (nerve gas) or insecticide exposure:
3 injections of 2 mg/0.7 mL (green) by AtroPen auto-injector into midlateral thigh in rapid succession. Severe symptoms are: strange or confused behavior, severe difficulty breathing or severe secretions from the lungs and airways, severe muscular twitching and general weakness, involuntary urination and defecation, convulsions or unconsciousness.

Usual Adult Dose for Anticholinesterase Poisoning:

2 to 3 mg IV one time. Doses may be repeated as needed to prevent or treat signs of parasympathomimetic activity, coma, and/or cardiovascular collapse.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Bradyarrhythmia:

0.01 to 0.03 mg/kg IV every 5 minutes for 2 to 3 doses as needed. The minimum dose is 0.1 mg and the maximum dose is 0.5 mg. The maximum total dose is 1 mg.

When treating bradycardia in neonates, reserve use for those patients unresponsive to improved oxygenation and epinephrine. Note: Doses less than 0.1 mg have been associated with paradoxical bradycardia.

Endotracheal: 0.04 to 0.06 mg/kg; may repeat once if needed.

Usual Pediatric Dose for AV Heart Block:

0.01 to 0.03 mg/kg IV every 5 minutes for 2 to 3 doses as needed. The minimum dose is 0.1 mg and the maximum dose is 0.5 mg. The maximum total dose is 1 mg.

When treating bradycardia in neonates, reserve use for those patients unresponsive to improved oxygenation and epinephrine. Note: Doses less than 0.1 mg have been associated with paradoxical bradycardia.

Endotracheal: 0.04 to 0.06 mg/kg; may repeat once if needed.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Organophosphate Poisoning:

Infants weighing less than 15 lbs. (generally less than six months of age): use 0.25 mg/ 0.3 mL (yellow)AtroPen auto-injector
Mild symptoms of nerve agent (nerve gas) or insecticide exposure:
0.25 mg/0.3 mL (yellow) AtroPen auto-injector into midlateral thigh followed by 2 additional 0.25 mg/0.3 mL (blue) AtroPen injections given in rapid succession are recommended 10 minutes after receiving the first injection if the victim develops any of the following severe symptoms: strange or confused behavior, severe difficulty breathing or severe secretions from the lungs and airways, severe muscular twitching and general weakness, involuntary urination and defecation, convulsions or unconsciousness.
Severe symptoms of nerve agent (nerve gas) or insecticide exposure:
3 injections of 0.25 mg/0.3 mL (yellow) AtroPen auto-injector into midlateral thigh in rapid succession. Severe symptoms are: strange or confused behavior, severe difficulty breathing or severe secretions from the lungs and airways, severe muscular twitching and general weakness, involuntary urination and defecation, convulsions or unconsciousness.


15 to 40 pounds: use 0.5 mg/0.7 mL (blue) AtroPen auto-injector
Mild symptoms of nerve agent (nerve gas) or insecticide exposure:
0.5 mg/0.7 mL (blue) AtroPen auto-injector into midlateral thigh followed by 2 additional 0.5 mg/0.7 mL (blue) AtroPen injections given in rapid succession are recommended 10 minutes after receiving the first injection if the victim develops any of the following severe symptoms: strange or confused behavior, severe difficulty breathing or severe secretions from the lungs and airways, severe muscular twitching and general weakness, involuntary urination and defecation, convulsions or unconsciousness.
Severe symptoms of nerve agent (nerve gas) or insecticide exposure:
3 injections of 0.5 mg/0.7 mL (blue) AtroPen auto-injector into midlateral thigh in rapid succession. Severe symptoms are: strange or confused behavior, severe difficulty breathing or severe secretions from the lungs and airways, severe muscular twitching and general weakness, involuntary urination and defecation, convulsions or unconsciousness.

40 to 90 pounds: use 1 mg/0.7 mL (dark red) AtroPen auto-injector
Mild symptoms of nerve agent (nerve gas) or insecticide exposure:
1 mg/0.7 mL (dark red) AtroPen auto-injector into midlateral thigh followed by 2 additional 1 mg/0.7 mL (dark red) AtroPen injections given in rapid succession are recommended 10 minutes after receiving the first injection if the victim develops any of the following severe symptoms: strange or confused behavior, severe difficulty breathing or severe secretions from the lungs and airways, severe muscular twitching and general weakness, involuntary urination and defecation, convulsions or unconsciousness.
Severe symptoms of nerve agent (nerve gas) or insecticide exposure:
3 injections of 1 mg/0.7 mL (dark red) AtroPen auto-injector into midlateral thigh in rapid succession. Severe symptoms are: strange or confused behavior, severe difficulty breathing or severe secretions from the lungs and airways, severe muscular twitching and general weakness, involuntary urination and defecation, convulsions or unconsciousness

More than 90 pounds: use 2 mg/0.7 mL (green) AtroPen auto-injector

2 mg/0.7 mL (green) AtroPen auto-injector into midlateral thigh followed by 2 additional 2 mg/0.7 mL (green) AtroPen injections given in rapid succession are recommended 10 minutes after receiving the first injection if the victim develops any of the following severe symptoms: strange or confused behavior, severe difficulty breathing or severe secretions from the lungs and airways, severe muscular twitching and general weakness, involuntary urination and defecation, convulsions or unconsciousness.
Severe symptoms of nerve agent (nerve gas) or insecticide exposure:
3 injections of 2 mg/0.7 mL (green) AtroPen auto-injector into midlateral thigh in rapid succession. Severe symptoms are: strange or confused behavior, severe difficulty breathing or severe secretions from the lungs and airways, severe muscular twitching and general weakness, involuntary urination and defecation, convulsions or unconsciousness

What other drugs will affect atropine?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you take. Atropine can slow your digestion, and it may take longer for your body to absorb any medicines you take by mouth.

Other drugs may interact with atropine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about atropine.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.02. Revision Date: 2016-07-20, 10:56:57 AM.

Hide