Possible role for anisodamine in organophosphate poisoning

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In cases of organophosphate poisoning, patients are treated with a combination of antidotes. In addition to these poison-directed antidotes, patients may require extra oxygen and artificial ventilation; other modalities may also be needed due to the wide range of toxic effects. Anisodamine is a belladonna alkaloid, and like other drugs from this family is non subtype-selective muscarinic, and a nicotinic cholinoceptor antagonist, which has been employed in traditional Chinese medicine. As a muscarinic antagonist, it displays similar pharmacological effects to atropine and scopolamine. However, anisodamine is not only less potent than atropine and scopolamine but also less toxic. Current in vitro and animal model studies have demonstrated that anisodamine has protective effects in a variety of diseases. Organophosphate poisoning involves not only the central and peripheral nervous systems, but also the cardiac and respiratory systems, as well as activation of inflammatory processes and oxidative stress. Therefore, the anticholinergic and additional activities of anisodamine appear to be relevant and justify its consideration as an addition to the existing remedies. However, more research is needed, as at present data on the role of anisodamine in the management of organophosphate poisoning are limited. Here, we review the beneficial effects of anisodamine on processes relevant to organophosphate poisoning.

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