Anticholinergic drugs

A group of drugs that block the effects of acetylcholine, a chemical released from nerve endings in the parasympathetic autonomic nervous system. Acetylcholine stimulates muscle contraction, increases secretions in the mouth and lungs, and slows the heartbeat. Anticholinergic drugs are used in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, urinary incontinence, Parkinson’s disease, asthma, and bradycardia (abnormally slow heartbeat). They are also used to dilate the pupil before eye examination or surgery. Anticholinergic drugs are used as a premedication before general anaesthesia and to treat motion sickness. They may cause dry mouth, blurred vision, urinary retention, and confusion.


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