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Potentially life-threatening emergency
Anticholinergic syndrome
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed
Potentially life-threatening emergency

Anticholinergic syndrome

Contributors: Ella Purington MD, Joon B. Kim MD, Jamie Adams MD, Abhijeet Waghray MD, Gerald F. O'Malley DO
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Anticholinergic syndrome follows exposure to substances that are muscarinic receptor antagonists. Clinical effects include tachycardia, delirium, hallucinations, mydriasis, dry skin and mucous membranes, urinary retention, decreased gastric motility, and occasionally hyperthermia.

Implicated medications include anticholinergics such as atropine, benztropine, and scopolamine; antihistamines such as diphenhydramine; antipsychotics such as clozapine and quetiapine, antispasmodics such as dicyclomine and oxybutynin; tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline and imipramine; and muscle relaxants such as cyclobenzaprine.

Some plants such as Jimson weed (Datura stramonium) and deadly nightshade, also known as belladonna (Atropa belladonna), have anticholinergic properties.

Codes

ICD10CM:
T44.3X1A – Poisoning by other parasympatholytics [anticholinergics and antimuscarinics] and spasmolytics, accidental (unintentional), initial encounter

SNOMEDCT:
216593002 – Accidental poisoning by anticholinergic

Look For

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Therapy

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Drug Reaction Data

Below is a list of drugs with literature evidence indicating an adverse association with this diagnosis. The list is continually updated through ongoing research and new medication approvals. Click on Citations to sort by number of citations or click on Medication to sort the medications alphabetically.

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References

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Last Reviewed:09/04/2022
Last Updated:09/05/2022
Copyright © 2022 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.
Potentially life-threatening emergency
Anticholinergic syndrome
A medical illustration showing key findings of Anticholinergic syndrome : Agitation, Flushing, Delirium, Mydriasis, Anhidrosis
Copyright © 2022 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.