atropine (injection)

Pronunciation: AT roe peen

Brand: AtroPen Auto-Injector

What is the most important information I should know about atropine?

Seek medical attention after any use of atropine to treat poisoning. After the injection you may need to receive further treatment and observation.

What is atropine?

Atropine is used to help reduce saliva, mucus, or other secretions in your airway during a surgery.

Atropine is sometimes used as an antidote to treat certain types of poisoning.

Atropine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving atropine?

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • asthma or other breathing disorder;
  • glaucoma;
  • enlarged prostate;
  • urination problems;
  • a heart rhythm disorder;
  • liver or kidney disease;
  • myasthenia gravis; or
  • a blockage in your digestive tract (stomach or intestines).

In an emergency, you may not be able to tell caregivers if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Make sure any doctor caring for your pregnancy or your baby knows you received this medicine.

How is atropine given?

Atropine is injected into a muscle, under the skin, or as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider may give you this injection or teach you how to properly use the medication by yourself.

Atropine is usually given as soon as possible after the onset of poisoning symptoms.

You may be watched for up to 72 hours to make sure the medicine has been effective and you no longer have any effects of the poison.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since atropine is used when needed, it does not have a daily dosing schedule.

What happens if I overdose?

You will be watched closely to make sure you do not receive too much of this medicine. Your caregivers will quickly treat you if you have overdose symptoms.

Overdose symptoms may include vision problems, fever, feeling unsteady, loss of balance or coordination, trouble concentrating, fast heart rate, confusion, hallucinations (seeing or hearing things), weak or shallow breathing, or breathing that stops.

What should I avoid while receiving atropine?

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.

Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise and in hot weather. Atropine can decrease sweating and you may be more prone to heat stroke.

What are the possible side effects of atropine?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your caregivers right away if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, feeling full after eating a small amount;
  • blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;
  • trouble swallowing;
  • feeling restless or excited;
  • tremors, problems with balance or muscle movement;
  • increased thirst, hot and dry skin;
  • tiredness; or
  • a severe skin rash.

Common side effects may include:

  • fast heartbeats, pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
  • flushing (sudden warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);
  • urinary problems;
  • constipation, bloating, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting;
  • loss of interest in sex, impotence;
  • dry mouth;
  • dry eyes, blurred vision, your eyes may be more sensitive to light;
  • confusion, dizziness; or
  • headache, drowsiness.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect atropine?

Atropine can make it harder for your body to absorb other medicines you take by mouth. Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially pralidoxime.

Other drugs may affect atropine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about atropine.

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