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Atropine, scopolamine, and Ditran: Comparative pharmacology and antagonists in man


Atropine, scopolamine, and Ditran, three centrally active anticholinergic compounds, were administered to 158 normal young males in a dose range broader than any previously reported to study serially their central and peripheral effects. The findings indicate that there are not qualitative differences in the actions of these compounds, but there are differences in potency, relative central affinity, and time course of effects. The toxicity of belladonna-related substances responds well to certain anticholinesterase substances, such as physostigmine, sarin, and THA, but not to others (neostigmine and DFP), nor does it respond to the unrelated drug methylphenidate nor to the phenothiazines. The hallucinations, confusion, and incoherence produced by high doses of anticholinergic compounds seem best classified as simple delirium, rather than as “psychotomimetic” or “psychedelic” syndromes.

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Correspondence to Frederick R. Sidell.

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Ketchum, J.S., Sidell, F.R., Crowell, E.B. et al. Atropine, scopolamine, and Ditran: Comparative pharmacology and antagonists in man. Psychopharmacologia 28, 121–145 (1973).

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Key words

  • Atropine
  • Scopolamine
  • Ditran
  • Human Subjects
  • Antagonists