Anticholinergics( below table) are drugs that oppose the effects of acetylcholine at receptor sites in the substantia nigra and the corpus striatum, thus helping to restore chemical balance in the area.
Anticholinergics used to treat Parkinson disease include benztropine (Cogentin), biperiden (Akineton), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), and trihexyphenidyl (Artane).
The use of anticholinergics for Parkinson disease and parkinsonism is associated with CNS effects that relate to the blocking of central acetylcholine receptors, such as disorientation, confusion, and memory loss. Agitation, nervousness, delirium, dizziness, light-headedness, and weakness may also occur.
Anticipated peripheral anticholinergic effects include dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, paralytic ileus, and constipation related to decreased GI secretions and motility. In addition, other adverse effects may occur, including the tachycardia, palpitations, and hypotension related to the blocking of the suppressive cardiac effects of the parasympathetic nervous system; urinary retention and hesitancy related to a blocking of bladder muscle activity and sphincter relaxation; blurred vision and photophobia related to pupil dilation and blocking of lens accommodation; and flushing and reduced sweating related to a blocking of the cholinergic sites that stimulate sweating and blood vessel dilation in the skin.
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