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7 years ago
Atropine inhibits parasympathetic activity. Discuss the effects of atropine on the heart and describe common expected side effects.
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7 years ago
Parasympathetic stimulation of the heart has an inhibitory effect, slowing the heart rate. This inhibition is constant under normal circumstances, and without it the heart beats at the rate set by the pacemaker cells, which is higher than normal. Thus atropine, by removing the inhibition, increases heart rate. Other organs affected by atropine include any with muscarinic receptors. For example, atropine would inhibit intestinal motility, resulting in constipation. Atropine also inhibits the pupillary reflex, resulting in dilated pupils.
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