November 03, 2006

Anticholinergic toxic effects

This mnemonic about atropine and scopolamine is rather poetic:

Sleepy as a sloth
Blind as a bat
Mad as a Hatter
Red as a beet
Hot as a hare
Dry as a bone

Bladder n' bowel lose their tone,
While the heart runs alone.

Jimson weed is common in the U.S. and ingestion of its leaves as a herb tea, chewed or smoked, causes these symptoms. However, the long onset makes a lot of users overdose while trying to get a cheap high.... and its not a fun one, as you could probably tell.

Belladonna, or deadly nightshade, is another plant that contains this alkaloid. "Bella Donna" means "beautiful woman," because atropine can be used to dilate the pupils (to simulate arousal.)

You might have been a "bella donna" if you've ever gone to the optometrist or ophthalmologist and they dilated your pupils to inspect your retina!

1 comment:

  1. My nursing instructor taught us a crass, but easy to remember, way to memorize the function of anticholinergics - keep in mind it's set to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star:

    Can't See, Can't Pee, Can't Spit, Can't Shit...