The way to remember the effects of anticholinergic medications is using the mnemonic Hot as a hare, blind as a bat, dry as a bone, red as a beet, mad as a hatter.
- Hot as a hare: increased body temperature
- Blind as a bat: mydriasis (dilated pupils)
- Dry as a bone: dry mouth, dry eyes, decreased sweat
- Red as a beet: flushed face
- Mad as a hatter: delirium
Common anticholinergic medications are dimenhydrinate (Gravol) and low-potency antipsychotics, benztropine, atropine and antihistamines.
Don’t forget about the other toxidromes!
BUY THIS AS A STUDY CARD
A toxidrome is a syndrome (set of symptoms) caused by specific medications or toxins.
There are 5 big ones to know:
- Anticholinergic: low potency antipsychotics, oxybutynin, ACh receptor antagonists (ipratropium, atropine, scopolamine)
- Cholinergic: ACh recptor agonists (pilocarpine), AChEIs (organophosphates, phyostigmine)
- Opioid: Morphine, heroin, hydromorphone, etc
- Sympathomimetic: epinephrine, cocaine, amphetamine (Aderol), methylphenidate (Ritalin)
- Sedative-Hypnotic: Benzodiazepines, barbituates, “Z-drugs” (zopiclone, zolpidem), antihistamines