Physostigmine in the Treatment of Drug Overdose

  • S.-M. Aquilonius
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 24)


The capability of an extract of the Calabar bean to antagonize the mydriatic effect of atropine was known to Kleinwachter who introduced antidote treatment of overdosage with anticholinergic drugs in 1864 (18). In 2 out of 4 prisoners who drank a solution of atropine stolen in his hospital he described several symptoms of “the central anticholinergic syndrome” (20) as well as the therapeutic effect of oral administration of a Calabar-extract (18). In the same year a pure alkaloid was isolated from the West African bean by Jobst and Hesse and named physostigmine (19).


Muscarinic Receptor Psychoactive Drug Drug Overdose Anticholinergic Drug Verbal Command 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • S.-M. Aquilonius
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyUniversity HospitalUppsalaSweden

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