Bio141 Human Physiology: Common Uses of Atropine
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Bio141 Human Physiology: Common Uses of Atropine
______________________________________________________________ Bio141 Human Physiology
Last name first, please Spring 2020
What kind of drug is this? What is its general classification/drug action?
Atropine is a type of drug that is applied in the treatment of a particular kind of organophosphorus nerve agents, as well as patients who suffer from pesticide poisoning. It is also used in raising slow heart rates in some instances, as well as in the reduction of saliva production in the course of surgery. The drug typically falls under the classification of anticholinergic, as well as antiparasympathetic medication. It is also referred to as an antimuscarinic drug or agent since it acts to antagonize the muscarine-like actions of acetylcholine as well as other choline esters.
Describe its specific cellular site & mode of action. What does it do at the level of cellular communication? Which branch of the nervous system is directly being affected? How?
The drug binds muscarinic acetylcholine receptors to cause an inhibiting effect on the receptors. This binding and inhibition effect works to produce a variety of anticholinergic impacts on the human body. The said cholinergic effect regulates the muscarinic receptors in the cultures of the central nervous system. As regards the level of nervous communication, atropine is useful in diminishing or reversing the effects of the muscarinic receptors, such that when administered, it enhances the communication with the receptors that produce mucus and saliva in times of need (Wang, 2019). The branch of the nervous system that is directly affected by the drugs is the parasympathetic realm of the nervous system. This is the branch that contains the muscarinic receptors.
Name & explain three common uses of this drug.
Atropine is applied in the treatment of a particular type of organophosphorus nerve agents, as well as patients who suffer from pesticide poisoning. It is also applied in raising slow heart rates in some instances, as well as in the reduction of saliva production in the course of surgery. It is useful in diminishing or reversing the effects of the muscarinic receptors, such that when administered, it enhances the communication with the receptors that produce mucus and saliva in times of need. It is also a conventional medication applied in the treatment of spasms that occur in the intestines, stomach, bladder as well as other organs within the body.
What is its overall goal of action? What’s the BIG PICTURE? How does it affect the whole autonomic nervous system and its effects?
The drug counters the normal functions of “rest and digest” activities in the overall performance of the gland, as regulated by the parasympathetic nervous system. Essentially, the medication counters the production and secretion of the mucal and saliva extracts as performed by the muscarinic acetylcholine receptors of the nervous system. Being the competitive element it is, the medication inhibits the production of these substances such that in the long run, blocks the secretions from the bronchioles, acetylcholine sites as well as it opposes the functionality, performance, and secretions from the vagus nerve. The medicine increases the firing of the sinoatrial node of the heart as well as it enhances the conduction that occurs through the atrioventricular node of the heart.
What are the signs of atropine poisoning/overdose?
Also referred to as atropine intoxication, atropine overdoes/poisoning occurs in the instances that the drug is administered beyond its required dosage or amounts. To appreciate this phenomenon, the following symptoms manifest in patients experiencing the same. First, there are the signs of dry mouth as well as a dry nasal cavity. The dehydrating effect causes this symptom that the drug has on the mucus membranes. Other symptoms include dilated pupils, tachycardia, fever, as well as reduced responsiveness to light and blurred vision. It also presents delirium, confusion, coma, hallucinations as well as disorientation. More severe cases of the intoxication may lead to respiratory depression, circulatory collapse, coma, and even death in a few instances.
How do organophosphates, e.g., sarin gas poisoning, affect human physiology?
Organophosphates have gained notoriety as a leading insecticide source in agriculture throughout the years. However, in as much as they are useful in dealing with the pests, they are also adversely harmful to mammals and moreso humans, if ingested. The most prevalent effects of these chemicals to the human body include loss of memory, watery eyes, diarrhea, loss of appetite, anxiety, headache, watery eyes dizziness, weakness, salivation, and small or dilated pupils (Mclendon& Preuss, 2019). These are the more short term effects of these chemicals on human function. Long term effects include nervous system breakdowns and failures, characterized by weak muscles, tingling of the hands and feet as well as numbness.
Explain how atropine can be used to counter organophosphate poisoning, e.g., sarin gas poisoning. Our military is often provided atropine pens as part of their frontline resources.
The drug binds muscarinic acetylcholine receptors to cause an inhibiting effect on the receptors. This binding and inhibition effect works to produce a variety of anticholinergic impacts to the human body. In the instance of organophosphate poisoning, the said cholinergic effect regulates the muscarinic receptors in the cultures of the central nervous system. As regards the level of nervous communication, atropine is useful in diminishing or reversing the effects of the muscarinic receptors, such that when administered, it enhances the communication with the receptors that produce mucus and saliva in times of need.
McLendon, K., & Preuss, C. V. (2019). Atropine. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.
Wang, Y. (2019). Changes of electroretinogram response in myopia model of guinea pigs treated with different concentrations of atropine. HKU Theses Online (HKUTO).
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