Generic Name: atropine sulfate
Product Name: Atropine Injection
Indication: What Atropine Injection is used for
Atropine sulfate belongs to a group of medicines called antimuscarinic agents. Atropine Injection is given before anaesthesia to decrease mucus secretions, such as saliva. During anaesthesia and surgery, atropine is used to help keep the heart beat normal. Atropine sulfate is also used to block or reverse the adverse effects caused by some medicines and certain type of pesticides.
Atropine Injection may be used for the management of other conditions that are not mentioned above. Your doctor will be able to tell you about the specific condition for which you have been prescribed Atropine Injection.
This medicine is available only with a doctor’s prescription.
Action: How Atropine Injection works
Atropine is often classified as an anticholinergic drug but is more accurately described as an antimuscarinic agent since it competitively inhibits the muscarinic actions of acetylcholine and has both peripheral and central actions. It reduces secretions especially salivary and bronchial secretions, and also reduces perspiration. It has little effect on intestinal, biliary or pancreatic secretions since these secretions are principally controlled by hormonal rather than vagal mechanisms.
Atropine Injection contains the active ingredient atropine sulfate 600 microgram per mL or 1.2 mg per mL. It also contains sodium chloride and Water for Injections.
It does not contain preservatives.
Dose advice: How to use Atropine Injection
Before you are given Atropine Injection
When you must not be given it
Do not use Atropine Injection if you have an allergy or have had an unusual reaction to atropine or any of the anticholinergic medicines such as hyoscyamine and belladonna.
Do not use Atropine Injection if you have or have had any medical conditions, especially the following:
- Severe and chronic inflammation of the large intestine and rectum;
- Gastrointestinal blockage and/or diseases;
- Enlarged prostate;
- Urinary tract blockage and/or bladder problems;
- Fever, or if you are exposed to very high temperatures;
- Glaucoma and/or family history of glaucoma;
- Myasthenia gravis (severe muscle weakness);
- Acute bleeding, especially if you have heart problems;
- Heart disease;
- High blood pressure due to pregnancy;
- Overactive thyroid.
If you are not sure whether any of these apply to you, check with your doctor.
Before you are given it
Tell your doctor if you have allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes.
Tell your doctor if you have or have had any medical conditions, especially the following:
- Brain damage and/or mental confusion;
- Lung diseases;
- Liver and/or kidney diseases;
- Hormone problems;
- High blood pressure;
- Fast heart beat;
- Hiatus hernia;
- Heart diseases;
- Stomach and intestinal problems;
- Gastric ulcer, diarrhoea or gastrointestinal infection.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant or are breast-feeding.
Your doctor can discuss with you the risks and benefits involved.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including:
- All prescription medicines;
- All medicines, vitamins, herbal supplements or natural therapies you buy without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket, naturopath or health food shop.
Some medicines and atropine sulfate may interfere with each other. These include:
- Medicines to treat irregular heartbeat e.g. disopyramide and quinidine;
- Blood “thinning” medicines e.g. heparin, warfarin;
- Medicines to treat Parkinson’s disease;
- Metoclopramide, a medicine to treat nausea and vomiting;
- Cisapride, a medicine used in certain stomach problems;
- Anticholinergic medicines to prevent travel sickness, relieve stomach cramps or spasms;
- Bethanechol, a medicine used in bladder function disorders;
- Medicines to treat depression such as tricyclic antidepressants;
- Medicines used to treat certain mental and emotional conditions;
- Ketaconazole, a medicine to treat fungal infections;
- Narcotic analgesics to treat severe pain;
- Medicines used for glaucoma e.g. pilocarpine, carbachol;
- Medicines to treat Alzheimer’s disease e.g. rivastigmine and donepezil;
- Muscle relaxants used during an operation.
If you are to receive Atropine Injection as a premedication, your doctor will advise if you should continue to take your regular medicines.
How Atropine Injection is given
Atropine sulfate will be injected by your doctor or nurse under the skin, into the muscle or directly into the blood stream.
Your doctor will decide what dose and how often you will receive Atropine Injection. The dosage you will be given will depend on your condition, what it is being used for and other factors, such as your age, and whether or not other medicines are being given at the same time.
If you are given too much (overdose)
This rarely happens as Atropine Injection is administered under the care of a highly trained doctor.
However, if you are given too much atropine sulfate, you may experience some of the effects listed under “Side effects” below. The signs of overdose are dilation of the pupils, difficulty in swallowing, hot dry skin, flushing and inability to pass urine. Rapid breathing, increased heart rate and hyperactivity may also occur.
Your doctor has information on how to recognise and treat an overdose. Ask your doctor if you have any concerns.
Atropine Injection will be stored in the pharmacy or on the ward. The injection is kept in a cool dry place, where the temperature stays below 25°C.
Schedule of Atropine Injection
Atropine Injection is an S4 – Prescription only medicine.
Side effects of Atropine Injection
Tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well after you have being given atropine sulfate.
Like other medicines, atropine sulfate can cause some side effects. If they occur, most are likely to be minor or temporary. However, some may be serious and need medical attention.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions that you may have.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following:
- Blurred vision and/or discomfort in the eyes especially if your eyes are more sensitive to light than normal, dilation of pupils;
- Difficulty in urinating;
- Flushing, dryness of skin;
- Skin rash, hives;
- Headache, dizziness, drowsiness and/or weakness;
- Nervousness, restlessness, confusion, unusual excitement shaking and/or tremor;
- Nausea, vomiting;
- Fast and/or irregular heartbeat;
- Loss of taste;
- Dryness of the mouth, nose and throat, thirst.
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor or nurse.
For further information talk to your doctor.