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The effects of atropine on the nervous system and its uses in medicine.

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  1. 1. Atropine
  2. 2. • Background information • Biological explanation • Uses in medicine
  3. 3. Background • Atropine is found in many members of the Solanaceae family of plants • Mandragora (mandrake) was used in the fourth century B.C. for treatment of wounds, gout, and sleeplessness • Roman and Islamic Empires across Europe used Solanaceae containing tropane alkaloids for anaesthesia for centuries • The substance was first synthesized by German chemist Richard Willstätter in 1901
  4. 4. • The toxic alkaloid atropine comes from the highly poisonous Deadly nightshade, common name belladonna (Italian for "beautiful lady") • Women placed atropine- containing drops in their eyes to dilate their pupils, giving them a dreamy look that was believed to be attractive. Tragically, many of these women later became blind
  5. 5. Biological explanation • Atropine is an ANTICHOLINERGENIC drug • It is called this because it ‘antagonises’ (works against) acetylcholine.
  6. 6. Atropine as an antagonist Acetylcholine Atropine
  7. 7. Atropine as an antagonist Acetylcholine Atropine
  8. 8. Atropine C17H23NO3
  9. 9. SYNAPSE
  10. 10. Atropine binds with the receptors so acetylcholine can’t The nerve impulse cannot transmit This function can be utilised to ‘paralyse’ certain nerves
  11. 11. Eyes
  12. 12. Heart The vagus nerve normally slows the heart Atropine blocks the effect of the vagus nerve by binding with the acetylcholine receptors on the post – synaptic membrane The heart rate is no longer inhibited This may stimulate the heart Atropine is give after a heart attack
  13. 13. Metabolism of atropine • Up to 50% of atropine is excreted unchanged in the urine • The remaining Atropine is destroyed by enzymatic hydrolysis in the liver