Pharmacological Properties The Prototypical Alkaloids Atropine and Scopolamine

Atropine and scopolamine differ quantitatively in antimuscarinic actions, particularly in their ability to affect the CNS. Atropine has almost no detectable effect on the CNS at doses that are used clinically. In contrast, scopolamine has prominent central effects at low therapeutic doses. The basis for this difference is probably the greater permeation of scopolamine across the blood-brain barrier. Because atropine has limited CNS effects, it is preferred to scopolamine for most purposes.

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM Atropine in therapeutic doses (0.5-1 mg) causes only mild vagal excitation as a result of stimulation of the medulla and higher cerebral centers. With toxic doses of atropine, central excitation becomes more prominent, leading to restlessness, irritability,

Table 7-2

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