Anticholinergic Mnemonic

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!


9 thoughts on “Anticholinergic Mnemonic

  1. Google helped me find your image, and I feel very lucky about it. I have to hold a class about cholinomimetics and cholinolitic drugs. Though in my country we don’t use this mnemonic to describe the various symptoms of acute atropine toxicity, I hope I found the best way to explain them to the audience, in a kind of funny way. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Pingback: #56: Polypharmacy and deprescribing Part 1: Living better through chemicals - The Curbsiders

  3. Don’t forget ileus, urinary retention and tachycardia. Might consider adding the other colloquialisms “the bowel and bladder lose their tone, and the heart runs alone”.

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