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What is atropine used for?

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Quick Answer

Atropine has several medical uses, including relieving spasms in the body, reducing secretions of organs and controlling several medical conditions, according to Drugs.com. Atropine comes in oral, injectable and ophthalmic formulas.

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Full Answer

Atropine helps control spasms associated with the gastrointestinal tract, the bladder and the biliary tract of the live, as Drugs.com explains. The drug reduces stomach acid, mucus, saliva and sweat by limiting the secretions of various organs. Atropine treats conditions such as colitis, peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, infant colic and diverticulitis. Patients with Parkinson's disease may receive atropine treatments to lessen the effects of rigidity, tremors, excessive salivation and sweating. The substance controls laughing and crying spells caused by brain tumors.

Ophthalmic atropine dilates pupils in the eyes before eye exams, according to MedlinePlus. Atropine also relieves the pain associated with swelling and inflammation of the eyes. The drug comes in the form of liquid eye drops and as an ointment. The drops and the ointment get placed in the lower pocket of the eye after patients pull down the lower eyelid. Patients usually administer this medicine two to four times daily as prescribed by doctors.

Oral atropine helps decrease saliva, phlegm and stomach spasms, according to MedicineNet.com. This application of atropine prevents the body from producing acetylcholine. The drug is made from the belladonna plant, and atropine relaxes muscles by inhibiting nervous system responses. In the United States, drugs containing atropine are only available by prescription as of March 2015.

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